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Challenges remain in improving turnout in low voting polling stations in Darrang district

By Mayukh Goswami
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MANGALDAI, March 29 - The Election Commission of India (ECI) over the years has laid much stress on the maximum participation of voters in the election process to strengthen democracy. In view of this, the ECI has directed all the States of the country to undertake Systematic Voters� Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) which has proved effective in increasing voters� participation over the last couple of years.

However, the job does not finish there. There are still many polling stations in the country which have very low voter turnout. Baralakhaity Lower Primary (Right) Polling Station (PS) under 67 Mangaldoi (SC) Assembly constituency in the No 8 Mangaldoi HPC is one such PS which has been causing concern. This PS has already been identified as having the lowest voter turnout among the 40 polling stations with very low turnout taken from four Assembly segments under the Mangaldoi Election District as far as the records of 2016 Assembly Election are concerned. The PS which had a total of 861 voters has 558 male and 343 female voters respectively, recorded less than 50 per cent turnout. Out of the 861 total voters, 343 male and 84 female voters exercised their democratic rights. The poll percentage of women voters thus recorded was as low as 24.

The situation was even worse in the previous elections when the voter turnout was recorded as less than 30 per cent. This significant rise in the voters� turnout over the years may possibly be the outcome of the voters� awareness programmes conducted under supervision of the ECI. Among the several factors which contribute to this picture of very poor poll turnout are � worst connectivity, long distance between the PS and the residences of the inhabitants and lack of necessary public awareness. These are a few factors identified by Babul Deka, the village head.

Tractor is stated to be only means of mechanised transportation. The area, 35 kilometres away from Mangaldai on the banks of the mighty Brahmaputra is under constant threat from erosion. Several local government institutions have already lost their existence and erosion is also posing serious threat to the present school building used as the PS. Meanwhile, Monika Borgohain, an Assistant Commissioner looking after the SVEEP activities under the supervision of a senior officer in the rank of an Additional Deputy Commissioner as a part of ensuing general election while talking to this reporter made the honest confession that they are yet reach out to the voters of the area. She claimed that they are aware of the poor turnout scenario of the locality and have chalked out plans to motivate the voters with the help of the �Chandraprabha Baideu� or the �Jeebika Sathi� under the ASRLM within a day or two.

In addition to this, there are 24 other polling stations of the election district, which recorded less than 80 per cent voters turnout in the last Assembly election against the average 88.24 poll percentage of the district and 84.72 percent State average.

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Challenges remain in improving turnout in low voting polling stations in Darrang district

MANGALDAI, March 29 - The Election Commission of India (ECI) over the years has laid much stress on the maximum participation of voters in the election process to strengthen democracy. In view of this, the ECI has directed all the States of the country to undertake Systematic Voters� Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) which has proved effective in increasing voters� participation over the last couple of years.

However, the job does not finish there. There are still many polling stations in the country which have very low voter turnout. Baralakhaity Lower Primary (Right) Polling Station (PS) under 67 Mangaldoi (SC) Assembly constituency in the No 8 Mangaldoi HPC is one such PS which has been causing concern. This PS has already been identified as having the lowest voter turnout among the 40 polling stations with very low turnout taken from four Assembly segments under the Mangaldoi Election District as far as the records of 2016 Assembly Election are concerned. The PS which had a total of 861 voters has 558 male and 343 female voters respectively, recorded less than 50 per cent turnout. Out of the 861 total voters, 343 male and 84 female voters exercised their democratic rights. The poll percentage of women voters thus recorded was as low as 24.

The situation was even worse in the previous elections when the voter turnout was recorded as less than 30 per cent. This significant rise in the voters� turnout over the years may possibly be the outcome of the voters� awareness programmes conducted under supervision of the ECI. Among the several factors which contribute to this picture of very poor poll turnout are � worst connectivity, long distance between the PS and the residences of the inhabitants and lack of necessary public awareness. These are a few factors identified by Babul Deka, the village head.

Tractor is stated to be only means of mechanised transportation. The area, 35 kilometres away from Mangaldai on the banks of the mighty Brahmaputra is under constant threat from erosion. Several local government institutions have already lost their existence and erosion is also posing serious threat to the present school building used as the PS. Meanwhile, Monika Borgohain, an Assistant Commissioner looking after the SVEEP activities under the supervision of a senior officer in the rank of an Additional Deputy Commissioner as a part of ensuing general election while talking to this reporter made the honest confession that they are yet reach out to the voters of the area. She claimed that they are aware of the poor turnout scenario of the locality and have chalked out plans to motivate the voters with the help of the �Chandraprabha Baideu� or the �Jeebika Sathi� under the ASRLM within a day or two.

In addition to this, there are 24 other polling stations of the election district, which recorded less than 80 per cent voters turnout in the last Assembly election against the average 88.24 poll percentage of the district and 84.72 percent State average.