GUWAHATI, Jan 25 - Inaugurating the fourth �National Voters� Day� function as chief guest, Governor JB Patnaik today said that National Voters� Day reminds one of involving oneself as a voter and of discharge one�s minimum duty and responsibility to the nation.
The function was organized by the Kamrup (Metro) district administration under the aegis of the office of the Chief Electoral Officer, Assam. Jitesh Khosla, Chief Secretary; Vijayendra, Chief Electoral Officer; Ashutosh Agnihotri, Deputy Commissioner, Kamrup (Metro), and several other officials, new and old voters, and other invitees were present at the function, an official release said.
�We are a democratic nation and our system of governance has been proved to be an ideal system. The other system which is an autocratic or dictatorial one has been rejected by the fathers of our Constitution. We call our system of Government as Parliamentary system of representative democracy,� the Governor said.
Speaking about the eligibility to become a voter, the Governor said that a person in order to be empowered to vote, has to be enrolled first as a voter which means his name is to be found in the electoral rolls.
�Being enrolled as a voter is not enough. One has to get a voters identity card or a photo identity card which will also serve as an important documentary proof for establishing one�s identity in regard to various facilities provided by the Government. Then again, every enrolled voter has to turn out at the polling station to vote when an opportune time arises. Unfortunately, many people neglect to get registered in the electoral rolls and many so registered do not go to the polling station on the appointed day of voting out of sheer apathy and indifference,� the Governor said, adding that many belonging to higher middle and the upper classes of society think themselves more enlightened than others but they consider it beneath their dignity to stand in long queues to wait for their turn to vote.
The Governor also added that electoral participation is an essential part of a vibrant democracy and many countries have introduced compulsory voting in their constitution and �there is now a demand to do so in our country.�
On the theme of this year�s National Voters� Day, i.e., �ethical voting�, the Governor said that ethical voting means no resort to corrupt practices. �As it is the duty of every citizen to exercise his voting power according to his conscience, it is the responsibility of the Election Commission to see that rigging is prevented by all means. I know several instances of voters turned back disappointed from the polling booths as their votes had already been cast by bogus voters,� he added.
He expressed hope that with the advancement of society in the field of education and elimination of poverty, the undesirable trend would gradually come down and people would be proud of the country�s voting system fully based on ethics and morality.
He concluded his speech by saying, �Election after election has made India strong and powerful as the largest democracy of the world where large sections of our people vote freely and fearlessly to elect the Government of their own choice. Much credit goes for this to the Election Commission of India, which does its job extremely well. The National Voters� Day, therefore, reminds us that ensuring our involvement as a voter, we discharge our minimum duty and responsibility to our nation.�