Union Minister for Law and Justice Kiren Rijiju addresses the 12th National Voters Day Celebrations, organised by the Election Commission of India, in New Delhi on January 25, 2022. (Photo/PIB)
New Delhi: The 12th National Voters’ Day was celebrated across the country on January 25, 2021.
In the national function held in New Delhi, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu’s message as the Chief Guest on the occasion was delivered virtually.
In his message, he appreciated the Election Commission for its consistent efforts to improve voter turnout and also enhance the integrity of the election process.
He complimented the awardees being recognized today for their commendable performance in the last elections.
Union Minister for Law and Justice Kiren Rijiju graced the occasion as the Guest of Honour.
Former Chief Election Commissioners Navin Chawla and Sunil Arora, senior representatives from recognised political parties namely AITC, BSP, BJP, CPI, INC, National People’s Party; National Icons and recipients of ECI’s best electoral practices awards attended the event.
Speaking on the occasion, Rijiju said, “Every voter should value their right to vote and realize that it’s a privilege to be a voter in the largest democracy in the world.”
He added that the foundation of a successful democracy is laid on sound electoral processes. He highlighted the latest electoral reforms, which facilitate registration for young eligible citizens four times a year now.
Recognising the need for independence of constitutional authorities, the Union Minister stressed upon the need for coordinated functioning without compromising their independence.
Rijiju suggested that ECI could also begin the practice of posthumous awards to honour polling personnel who sacrifice their lives while performing election duties.
Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra reiterated Commission’s determination to make elections more inclusive, accessible, and participative.
He said the theme of this year’s NVD has been specifically chosen accordingly.
Chandra said ECI has made tremendous efforts in two directions, one to increase and facilitate registration of voters and the second to make polling stations more conducive, comfortable, and accessible.
He pointed out that ECI has made consistent efforts and has gone the extra mile to empower and facilitate the participation of senior citizens and persons with disabilities.
The Commission has brought the polling booth to the doorstep of those who found it difficult to go to the polling booth to cast their vote by offering them the option of postal ballot, he said. CEC expressed his appreciation for all field functionaries, booth level officials, security personnel and members of CAPF who performed their duties during the challenging times of the pandemic and did not let the elections suffer in any manner.
Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar noted that the tradition of democracy and democratic practices are deep-rooted in India.
He said the significant development of creating ECI as a constitutional body, one day before adopting the Constitution of India, reminds us of the commitment of our founding fathers to the spirit of democracy and celebrating the resolve of its citizens.
Kumar reiterated that ECI is committed to providing a level playing field to all candidates and political parties so that voters can participate without fear or favour.
He said that with the Election Commission of India having several reform plans at various stages of actualization, the future of elections is indeed filled with dynamic possibilities, especially through enhanced use of Information Technology across electoral processes and for welfare of voters.
Election Commissioner Anup Chandra Pandey welcomed the august gathering of dignitaries and awardees to the national celebration of the 12th National Voters’ Day.
The Election Commission of India strives relentlessly in its endeavour to ensure free, fair, participative, inclusive, and accessible elections in the world’s largest democracy. He added that NVD celebrations every year reminds us of the constitutional obligation of the commission based on the premise of No Voter to be Left Behind. He pointed out that NVD 2022 marks 70 successful years of elections in India.
On this occasion, the Commission conferred the National Awards for the Best Electoral Practices to Officers for their outstanding performance in the conduct of elections in different spheres. In addition, awards were also conferred on Govt. Departments and Media Houses for their outstanding contribution in the field of voter awareness and outreach.
The Election Commission of India launched a publication ‘Leap of Faith: Journey of Indian Elections’. The book narrates India’s electoral history and the growth of representative and electoral principles in India as it evolved from the nineteenth to the twenty-first century. The book focuses on the Election Commission of India’s persistent efforts to make the elections genuinely reflective of people’s verdict.
Another Publication ‘Pledging to Vote – A decadal Journey of The National Voter’s Day in India’ was also released.
The book presents the journey of National Voter’s Day celebrations by ECI from Diamond Jubilee celebration onwards.
It includes addresses of the dignitaries who gave the occasion as the Chief Guest, speeches of Chief Election Commissioners, Messages, Curtain Raisers, Press Note, and the National Award Winners over the years.
Here is the link to the e-book.
A national voter awareness contest- ‘My Vote is my Future- Power of One Vote’ was also launched to reiterate the importance of every vote through creative expression for the ongoing Assembly Elections 2022. With a host of categories like Song, Slogan, Quiz, Video Making and Poster Design, the contest will be open to all and participants will be able to send their entries till 15 March 2022. The winners shall be presented with exciting cash prizes and accolades.
For more information, visit: https://ecisveep.nic.in/contest/
A multimedia exhibition on various initiatives by the Commission was also displayed during the function. The exhibition showcased recent electoral reforms, information on EVM-VVPAT, international experiences, knowledge-sharing and initiatives by ECI to make elections more inclusive, accessible, participative, and COVID safe. Various IT initiatives like KYC app, cVigil app, etc. for an informed and vigilant voter were also displayed.
During the function, five newly enrolled voters from Delhi were also felicitated and handed over their Elector Photo Identity Card (EPIC).
National Voters’ Day has been celebrated all over the country on January 25 every year since 2011 to mark the Foundation Day of the Election Commission of India, which was established on this day in the year 1950. The main purpose of the NVD celebration is to highlight the importance of each vote in a democracy; encourage, facilitate and maximize the enrollment of new voters and also enhance the participation of voters. (Press Release)