Tuesday, June 25, 2024

LS Polls-2024 | 45.1 Cr votes cast in first 4 phases: ECI

The 2024 Lok Sabha polls are seeing impressive voter engagement, with a turnout of 66.95 percent recorded so far, as approximately 45.1 crore people have voted in the first four phases, the Election Commission of India (ECI) said Thursday. To boost voter participation, the ECI has launched a series of targeted interventions.

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Rajiv Kumar has directed the Chief Electoral Officers (CEOs) of the state and union territories to distribute voter information slips and enhance outreach activities for the upcoming phases.

“Partnership and collaboration are essential pillars of our voter awareness programme,” Kumar said.

He emphasised that different institutions, influencers, and celebrities were working enthusiastically on a pro-bono basis to support the ECI’s mission.

Kumar urged the voters to turn out in large numbers, framing voting as a day of pride rather than just a holiday.

To maximise outreach, various voter awareness drives are being carried out by the stakeholders, including telecom service providers like Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd, Bharti Airtel Limited, Jio Telecommunication, and Vodafone-Idea Ltd.

These companies are sending push SMS, flash SMS, outbound calls, and messages via RCS and WhatsApp to mobile users, appealing them to vote.

The ECI has also partnered with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to integrate voter awareness activities during the IPL season.

Messages and songs promoting voting are played at different stadiums, and Tendulkar’s pre-recorded video pledges are shown at various IPL venues.

Additionally, cricketers from all 10 IPL teams have recorded messages encouraging voters to participate.

A multifaceted approach is being taken to reach voters through social media and online platforms. Facebook has sent voting day alerts to users across India, while WhatsApp has personalised messages sent on polling day.

Google India supports the campaign through Google Doodle, YouTube, Google Pay, and other platforms.

Retail chains and the Retail Association of India are celebrating the elections as a festival, promoting voter awareness through their networks.

The vast networks of post offices and banks are also being utilised to disseminate information, with 1.6 lakh post offices and numerous bank branches and ATMs displaying voter awareness messages.

Collaborations with various ministries further amplify the outreach.

The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has integrated the election campaign logo with the IRCTC portal and tickets.

Airlines, in partnership with the Ministry of Civil Aviation, are making in-flight announcements and providing voter guides.

Airports in major cities have set up selfie points and display voter awareness messages.

Cinema theatres nationwide are screening ECI voter awareness films and songs.

Brands like Amul and Mother Dairy are branding milk pouches with election messages and using social media to encourage voting.

Doordarshan has produced short films featuring appeals from constitutional functionaries, while Spotify, Rapido, PhonePe, Blinkit, BookMyShow, MakeMyTrip, Zomato, Swiggy, Tata Neu, Uber India, and Urban Company have all launched campaigns to promote voter participation.

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