New Delhi: In a novel initiative aimed at helping voters make the right choice, the Election Commission has launched a campaign to encourage people to go through the affidavits of candidates to know about their background like education and whether they have any criminal records.
As part of the initiative, the Commission put out posters in various areas across Delhi having punch line 'Pahale Karenge Pata Phir Chunege Neta" (First will check the background and then will choose the leader).
"We are encouraging citizens to check background of the candidates from their affidavits before casting votes. The affidavits of all candidates are available on our website," Delhi's Chief Electoral Officer Chandra Bhushan Kumar told a news agency.
Bhushan said the commission will come out with advertisement in leading newspapers to make voters aware on fair details about the candidates so that they vote for the right candidate.
To encourage voters to exercise their franchise, the Commission will come out with separate campaign.
"We have roped in wrestler Sushil Kumar as face of our election awareness drive," he said. Cricketer Virat Kohli was the 'state icon' in the last Delhi Assembly and Lok Sabha elections.
The Commission has also roped in some theatre groups to perform nukkad nataks in different parts of the city to aware people to vote in the elections.
The national capital had recorded 66 per cent polling in the Assembly polls in December 2013 while it came down to around 64 percent in last year's Lok Sabha polls.
A total of 1.33 crore voters are eligible to exercise their franchise in Delhi. A total of 11,763 polling stations are being set up for the February 7 polls.
Kumar said the Commission has decided to put indelible ink with brush for the first time in the elections.
"We have decided that indelible ink with brush will be painted. With the use of brush, ink will immediately dry," Bhushan also said.
He said Commission has made elaborate arrangement to ensure free and fair polls and added that around one lakh government employees will be involved in the exercise.
The Commission has finalised a budget of around Rs 70 crore for the election.