Gangtok: January 25, 2012
National Voters’ Day was celebrated at Chintan Bhawan on January 25. The function was organized by the Election Department, Government of Sikkim. The main purpose behind the celebration was to increase the enrollment in order to attain Universal Adult Franchise for effective and successful democratic system. The Chief Secretary Karma Gyatso chaired the occasion as the Chief Guest along with Addl. Chief Secretary, Development Commissioner, DGP and Chief Electoral Officer.
The Chief Secretary in his address stated that India is a country inhabited by people of different caste and languages, attributing to its richness and vivacity, have also its diversity to discuss the sense of unity and integrity, which binds together the people all over the country. The Election Commission of India lays great emphasis on enrolment of all eligible voters in the electoral roll. The Chief Secretary said that the Commission carries out Summary Revision of Electoral Rolls every year. In addition to this, there is also a provision of continuous updation of Electoral Rolls in the period between two Summary Revisions. He further added that the Election Commission of India has found that a significant numbers of eligible voters who are 18 years and above are not enrolled in the electoral rolls, inspite of Annual Revision exercise undertaken at the grass root level. With the view of overcoming this problem of registration of newly eligible voters, the Commission has decided to take up vigorous exercise to identify all eligible voters, who have attained the age of 18 years as on 15t January, every year in the country. Sikkim is also celebrating National Voters’ Day on 25th January, every year from 2010. For preparation of free and fair electoral rolls, the Commission has decided to appoint Booth Level Offices in their polling stations so that the BLOs are expected to prepare an error free electoral roll on the basis of eligibility criteria. Today on 25th January, 2012, on the occasion of National Voters’ Day celebration, the booth level officers in each polling station are felicitating newly registered voters in a brief ceremony in each polling stations. The newly registered voters will be issued Badges with the Logo of the Commission “Proud to be a Voter, ready to vote”. In Sikkim, there are 3,29,850 voters, out of which, 8,367 nos. of electors are new voters under the age group of 18-19 years and those electors will be provided Electoral Photo ID Cards, he added.
In his address, Chief Electoral Officer, K.T. Chankapa expressed that the National Voters’ Day is a new coinage of the Election Commission of India introduced on the occasion of its diamond jubilee celebration that ended on 25/01/2011. This is, indeed, a very pragmatic step taken by Election Commission of India. This year also under the directives of Election Commission of India National Voters’ Day” is being celebrated today on 25/01/2012.
The Chief Electoral Officer also appraised the gathering about the aims & objectives of Voters’ day. This day is observed for identification of cent percent eligible voters of the country and provides them with Electoral Photo Identity Cards, ispiring the young generation of the country to take proactive part in democratic system and its way of life, rousing the feeling of pride, honour and glory in the mind of young generation for being citizens of a vast democracy, enlightenment of the voters about their rights and duties, encouraging the voters to caste their votes, enrichment of the democratic systems of India, to ensure the participation of the maximum numbers of voters in elections and to strengthen the function of democracy.
This date is observed particularly for those newly eligible voters who attained the age of 18 years and enrolled during the summary revision of electoral rolls conducted every year with the 1st January as the qualifying date. He informed that the voters’ day is being also observed in all the 495 polling stations of the state under the supervision of Booth Level Officers involving representatives of the elected members and other resident of the locality including newly enrolled voters. Similarly, at the Sub-Division and District Level, voters’ day is being observed.
While presenting the welcome address, D, Anandan, D. C. East and also the District Electoral Registration Officer( East) outlined the objectives of celebrating National Voters’ Day and also read out the message of Chief Election Commissioner, Government of India.
On the occasion, Voters’ Pledge was administered by the Chief Guest to the gathering along with the handing of Electoral Photo Identity Card (EPIC) to15 new voters.
Four best Booth Level Officers(BLOs) each from the district were also feliciated with the Certificate and cash. The name of the BLOs were Birendra Subba from East District, B.B. Subba from West, Ongdi Bhutia from North and N.L. Sharma from the South District respectively.
A documentary film titled ‘India Election a mammoth Democratic Exercise’ was screened by the Election Department and the Patriotic songs were also presented by the Culture Department.