MANGALORE: The spirit of the Election Commission’s (EC) systematic voters’ education and electoral participation (SVEEP) programme is catching on.
The EC’s intent is to get more people come out and exercise their franchise and address the appalling low voter turnout, especially in urban pockets. The commission used SVEEP during the assembly election in Gujarat in December and implemented it in Meghalaya, Tripura and Nagaland.
Riding on this very spirit of SVEEP is ‘Cruise N Dine’; the city’s first floating cruise organization. Having started operations in the city a year ago, ‘Cruise N Dine’ has come up with an innovative way to get people to cast their vote of May 5, when Karnataka goes out to elect 223 MLAs in the 224 member Karnataka state assembly. People who vote on May 5 and want to go on cruise will get 50% off on cruise charges, up to May 12. The cruise operates from the old port here.
The brainchild of Jayaprakash Rao, a partner in the cruise operations, the idea is to reward voters for exercising their fundamental right. Jayaprakash told TOI that it is immaterial for whom they vote. “It is their individual preference,” he said, adding that to avail this discount, people have to show the indelible ink applied on their hand. “There is no bar on how many times during the week one wants to go on cruise, they will get the discount,” he said.
And this is not all. Jayaprakash on his Facebook page has posted the following message to grab the attention of voters – ‘Our gift to our nation – elect our leaders …Vote n get fabulous discount during the election week on Cruise N Dine… Wait for the surprise.’ www.cruisendine.com.
His reasoning with reduction of charges for cruise is that the food and beverage on board the cruise is moderately priced and should appeal to the voters.