President calls upon citizens to vote with pride

    By IANS,

    New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee Saturday called upon all eligible citizens to register as voters and vote with pride.

    “Through increased participation, the electoral process and democracy in India would continue to grow in strength and vibrancy. Enthusiastic participation of people in the electoral process is the key to healthy democracy,” the president said at a function to celebrate the fourth National Voters’ Day.

    According to the Election Commission, 3.9 crore new voters have been added to the voters list in the country. Of this, more than 1.27 crore are in the age group of 18 to 19 years.

    “It is only by the conduct of free, fair and participative elections that our democracy has become in many ways, the most vibrant in the world,” Mukherjee said.

    The president also pointed out that a large number of nations that gained freedom around the same time also adopted democratic systems of governance but India is among the very few nations that has been able to strengthen its democratic ethos.

    India, so far, has had 15 general elections and 348 state assembly polls.

    Chief Election Commissioner V.S. Sampath, meanwhile said the commission’s endeavour is to ensure everyone eligible is enrolled and also that all those enrolled vote in the elections.

    “Democracy requires more than a technically correct election. The essence of representativeness lies in participation of the people in the electoral process,” Sampath said.

    Sampath also pointed out that the increasing voter turnout and particularly the turnout of women was a “great achievement”.