KOCHI: The Election Commission aims to increase the polling percentage in the state from the previous 77 pc to 90-95 per cent, Chief Electoral Officer Teeka Ram Meena has said. He was speaking after inaugurating the Cast Your Vote campaign organised by TNIE at the LBS Institute of Technology for Women on Thursday.
The Election Commission is conducting several programmes to ensure people participate in the ensuing LS polls in large numbers. Due to the commission’s consistent efforts, 3.75 lakh first-time voters enrolled in the voters’ list. Meena asked the people to participate in the festival of democracy. “It is not just a political process, but it has cultural and social aspects as well. All of you should come out and vote in a free and fair manner. It’s not only a fundamental right, but it is also a privilege,” he said.
Meena said the ECI was conducting the elections in an impartial manner. Every citizen should read the Indian Constitution. The Supreme Court order directing candidates to declare their criminal antecedents is to expose their criminal background. “Many political parties do not give seats to good candidates. The EC is trying to ensure a level playing field. No one, including the ruling party, gets any special consideration,” he said.
TNIE Resident Editor Kiran Prakash said the polling rate of Kerala needs to be improved. “The TNIE wanted to do something to make people part of the electoral process. That’s why we came up with the programme across the state in addition to other states,” he said. “Kerala has politically aware people. We can make the polling percentage better,” he added.
TNIE General Manager P Vishnu Kumar said the campaign vehicle on Cast Your Vote will tour across the state. The programme is the latest of several CSR programmes organised by the group, he said. Meena flagged off the campaign vehicle. The CEO explained to the students the functioning of the EVM and VVPAT along with a demonstration. LBS Institute principal Jayamohan J and students’ ambassador Devika spoke at the inaugural.