MANGALORE: “Earlier preventing violence and booth capturing were the biggest challenges before the Election Commission of India (ECI), today it is increasing the voting percentage,” said Manish Kharbikar, city police commissioner, here on Wednesday.
Addressing students at a compulsory and ethical voting awareness programme in St Agnes College, he said, “A large number of people in the country are not exercising their franchise. Voting percentage in different parts of the country is between 50% and 70%. Citizens are the decision makers in a democratic country and they have to use their right to form a new government.”
The event was jointly organized by St Agnes College and Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation (Sveep) wing of Dakshina Kannada district. Over 500 students attended the programme despite the ongoing examination of degree students.
KN Vijaya Prakash, chief executive officer of zilla panchayat, urged the students to cast their votes and also to educate their parents and relatives of the importance of taking part in the electoral process. “If you come across any kind of unethical practises in the run up to the polls or on the polling day, dial the toll free number 1077,” he added. Earlier, a mime show was staged to create awareness about significance of voting on the campus.