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Politics

Lok Sabha elections witness 66.95 pc voter turnout so far in first 4 phases

May 16, 2024 05:19 PM

New Delhi : Lok Sabha elections 2024 have seen a voter turnout at polling stations of about 66.95 per cent so far, as approximately 451 million people have voted during the first four phases of ongoing general elections.

 

In a bid to encourage voters to exercise their franchise in large numbers, ECI has enhanced its targeted interventions to reach out to every eligible voter. The Commission led by CEC Rajiv Kumar along with ECs Gyanesh Kumar and Sukhbir Singh Sandhu, further directed CEOs of the states going to poll in the fifth, sixth and seventh phases to timely distribute voter information slips to all electors and enhance outreach activities.


"Commission strongly believes that partnership and collaboration are essential pillars of the voter awareness programme. It's heartening to see that, at the Commission's request, different institutions, influencers and celebrities with significant reach are working enthusiastically on a pro-bono basis," Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar said.


Further, he added that a higher voter turnout would be a message from Indian voters to the world, about the strength of Indian Democracy. He urges all the voters to cast their vote in huge numbers, as voting day is not a holiday but a day of pride, by participating in the festival of democracy.


According to an official release, various voter awareness drives and campaigns have been carried out by stakeholders in collaboration with ECI.


Telecom Service Providers such as Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited, Bharti Airtel Limited, Jio Telecommunication, and Vodafone-Idea Limited are reaching out to every mobile user in the respective parliamentary constituency through push SMS/Flash SMSs, outbound dialling calls to mobile users, RCS (Rich Communication Services) messaging and WhatsApp messages/alerts. These activities are carried out two/three days before the poll and even on the poll day, in regional languages, with an appeal to vote.


ECI has collaborated with BCCI for voter awareness activities during the ongoing IPL season. The voter awareness messages and songs are being played at different stadiums during the cricket matches. The most innovative aspect of this campaign is the administration of voter's pledges by cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar in a pre-recorded video message, at various IPL venues.


Further, voter awareness messages are integrated into cricket commentary. Cricketers from 10 IPL teams have encouraged voters to participate in the Lok Sabha elections in 2024 with their recorded voter awareness messages.


A voting day alert was sent to all Facebook users pan India to inform and inform the voters about the general elections and to nudge them to participate in the festival of democracy, the release mentioned.


The release further stated that WhatsApp personalised messages have begun on polling day. Google India is contributing through its iconic feature of Google Doodle on poll days and banners appearing on YouTube, Google Pat and other Google platforms.


The Retail Association of India has been actively engaging with voter awareness activities, through their retail network, whereby retail chains are encouraged to celebrate the election as a festival. The vast network of post offices and banking institutions was utilised by ECI to reach out to a wide and diverse audience across the length and breadth of the country.


In collaboration with the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, the parliamentary elections campaign logo "Chunav ka Parv, Desh ka Garv" has been integrated with the IRCTC portal and tickets. Voter awareness announcements have been integrated with the public address system at all railway stations. The logo stickers are used on coaches of the superfast trains.


In collaboration with the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, hoardings on voter awareness have been installed in about 16,000 retail outlets. In collaboration with the Ministry of Civil Aviation, airlines are making an inflight announcement with an appeal message to participate in the ensuing elections. Voter guides are being kept in aircraft seat pockets.

Apart from this, many airports are providing space for the display of voter awareness messages. Selfie points have been installed at airports in 10 major cities viz. Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Patna, Chandigarh, and Pune.


Cinema theatres across the country are playing ECI voter awareness films and ECI Song Main Bharat Hoon, Hum Bharat Ke Matdata Hai, at regular intervals, as a part of the Public Service Awareness (PSA) film.


Sansad TV is creating short films on Unique Polling Stations set up in remote corners of the country by the election machinery after navigating difficult terrains to demonstrate the challenges in ensuring voting at the last mile.


AMUL, Mother Dairy and other milk co-operatives have started branding their milk pouches with the message 'Chunav Ka Parv, Desh ka Garv' and encouraging voters through social media platforms. AMUL is also encouraging voters with its unique messaging through AMUL Girl Topical advertisements in newspapers.


Prasar Bharati: Doordarshan has produced, various short films, including appeals from constitutional functionaries like President of India, Vice President of India, and Chief Justice of India, among others. Further, unique polling stations are being covered by the regional Kendra's audio-visual documentation.


Music App Spotify is running a campaign called 'Play Your Part', and they have issued print advertisements, and curated the playlists for the elections, on their app. Payments app PhonePe has integrated voter awareness message into their app and is actively encouraging voters.


BookMyShow has launched an integrated campaign, titled "Aaj Picture Nahi, Bigger Picture Dekho," to raise awareness among voters. MakeMyTrip is running a campaign titled 'MyVoteWalaTrip', whereby discounts are offered to citizens going to vote.


Food delivery platforms such as Zomato and Swiggy are disseminating voter awareness messages through their platforms and social media activities. Grocery App Blinkit changed its logo to "Inkit" for the elections, incorporating a message encouraging people to "Go out and Vote" as a tagline.


Uber India is reaching out to voters through multi-channel messaging (in-app, emails, push notifications), offering discounts for rides to polling stations, and amplifying voter awareness messages on social media platforms. Bike app Rapido has been encouraging voters with a free ride to vote.


Urban Company has launched 'I Have Voted Campaign' to encourage voters. Tata Neu app, serving as the Tata Group's group-wide consumer-facing mobile app, prominently features the "Cast Your Vote" animated banner on its homepage, with additional initiatives currently underway.


Truecaller is enhancing its layout by displaying voter awareness message during outbound calls
Some other independent initiatives are Mankind Pharma #VotingVirgin campaign, clothing brand Neeru's "Vote ki Taiyaari" TVC, Tinder's "Every Single Vote Counts" campaign, creatively curated social media post by Matrimonial sites like Jeevansathi.com, etc and discounts for voting by popular brands such as Shoppers' Stop, MakeMyTrip, Chroma and many more.


Four phases of Lok Sabha polls have been held and the voting will conclude on June 1 with results on June 4. The remaining phases will be held on May 20, May 25, and June 1.

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