The ethical campaign to inform and enlighten electorates in different parts of Tura town and weekly markets for the upcoming May 16 by-election for Tura Lok Sabha constituency concluded on Tuesday.
Two programmes were held on the concluding day at Tura Super Market and at Tura Bazaar. The campaign was part of the Systematic Voter’s Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) activities initiated by West Garo Hills Deputy Commissioner (Election). The campaign, which was held for three days in different institutions, market place and localities, witnessed participation of electorates, who spoke on the evils of accepting money, gift while exercising their right to franchise.
‘The objective of the campaign was to enlighten electorates. We also made an effort to encourage and motivate informed voters to pass on the information to others. The idea was to instill empowerment amongst electorates in building and strengthening democratic system’, said the organiser.
Abdul Sheik, who works as a daily wage labour said, ‘I will not sell my vote for money or for any false promises. I will not listen to anybody. It is my right and I will exercise it with my conscience’.
On Friday last, the campaign was held at Rongram weekly market, where the electorates vowed not to get influenced by false promises during election campaign. They said that candidates have to come to them with their agenda and vision for Garo hills and then they would decide individually, whom to vote.
‘Earlier Nokma of our village use to decide, whom we should vote but we have realised that voting is our individual right and we have to decide, whom to vote of our own and not collectively’, said an elderly Tojan Marak from Tebronggre village, who came to Rongram weekly market.
At North Eastern Hill University (NEHU), the students from Department of Management attended the campaign. The students actively participated and shared their past experience about election and political parties method to woo electorates. A third semester MBA student from Nagaland said, ‘Many politicians seek vote in the name of religion and denomination in my state. Most electorates fail to understand that we need a leader, who can voice our concern. This is a sad situation, we really need to enlighten people in rural areas.’
The students pledged that they would make an effort to educate and create consciousness amongst the electorates in their respective town and villages. The Deputy Commissioner of West Garo Hills Pravin Bakshi said, ‘We have a mandate to ensure that electorates come out in large number to vote during election. The campaign was to encourage voting as well as to educate the voters about their rights and responsibilities.’
He also took the opportunity to ask the electorates to come out in large number to vote and make a conscience choice. The administration has taken up two slogans for the campaign – ‘Make you vote count, Vote with conscience’, and ‘Your vote is a great power it comes with a great responsibility.’