New Delhi: Concerned over the low turnout in
elections and less interest shown by people in electoral
processes, the Election Commission will launch a "National
Voters Day" on January 25 to enlist young voters to
participate in polling.
"We have found in the past that people`s participation in
electoral rolls upgradation has not been up to the mark. With
great difficulty, we reach out to the people and ask them to
vote but there was continuous apathy", Chief Election
Commissioner S Y Quraishi told reporters here on Friday.
While preparation of Photo Electoral Identity Cards (EPIC)
was "very difficult" because of various reasons, turnout was
low particularly in big cities and towns, he said.
The Commission has started identifying those who have
reached 18 years of age early in October itself and began
enrolling them in the electoral rolls, he said.
President Pratibha Patil would inaugurate the National
Voters Day on January 25 when those enrolled would be given
EPIC cards in 8.5 lakh polling booths across the country,
Quraishi said adding that the voters would take a pledge to
ensure free and fair elections.
As part of efforts to reach out to the people, the EC
would be launching a Facebook, the CEC said.
Replying to a question on NRIs voting rights, Quraishi
said the EC already had a meeting with Secretaries of Law,
Foreign and Overseas Indian Affairs and the rules were yet to
"It is a very complex exercise. It is not very simple,"
the CEC said.
Quraishi, however, refused to take questions on assembly
polls in Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.