Hyderabad: Chief Electoral Officer of Telangana Dr Rajat Kumar has appealed to the youth and the educated of the State to play a “vigorous and active” role in elections by casting their votes to shape out policies by the Government, instead of keeping away from polling on one excuse or other.
“You have many years to live and from you should come a new crop of leaders”, he affirmed.
Speaking at an interactive session at Federation of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FTAPCCI) here on Monday, he said, the people should always remember that they were not doing any favour to the country by voting and instead, the country was doing favour to them by allowing them to vote.
He asked middle class and upper classes to come out of their shells and participate in voting, taking an ethical stand. Or else, “How you get the Government you deserve?”.
The hall was packed with youths but only a few raised hands when the CEO asked “who among you have votes?”. He asked them to enrol themselves as voters at least in January when the electoral rolls would be revised again.
The 20 lakh odd citizens who enrolled as voters (September 6 to November 19) under the recent revision, constituted a sizeable chunk of electorate strength now, 2.81 crore, and were in a position to swing the scales. “An encouraging trend and augurs well for democracy”.
Answering a question, Dr Rajat Kumar said, those displeased with the candidates in the fray, might press the Nota option on the EVM.
Large number of Nota votes would convey to the victorious candidate that a majority of people in his constituency did not trust him and he won by slender margin. Such a situation would instil a feeling in him that he would not be opted next time.
There was no point in youths showing apathy towards voting and expect later policies and programmes by the Government favouring them. He recalled how a politician won the election by single vote in an upcountry State and became a minister and a part of the decision-making process by the Centre.
Dr Rajat Kumar told them that Election Commission had introduced several reforms in the election system and the latest one stipulated that candidates should necessarily furnish the details about their criminal antecedents and display the same in the print-electronic media thrice to enable the people to vote accordingly.
“Those in the trade and industry can’t expect policies such as subsidies to industries without voting”.
C. A. Arun Luharuka, president, FTAPCCI, who welcomed, said India performed a miracle by ensuring a grand success to democracy, disproving the stand taken by critics at the time of its first general elections. Ramakanth Inani, vice-president, proposed a vote of thanks. (INN)