The 14th National Voters’ Day was celebrated across the country today with the President of India Shrimati Droupadi Murmu gracing the national level event held at New Delhi. Union Minister of State for Law & Justice (Independent Charge) Shri Arjun Ram Meghwal, was the Guest of Honour. The Chief Election Commissioner Shri Rajiv Kumar, Election Commissioners Shri Anup Chandra Pandey, Shri Arun Goel received the dignitaries on the occasion.
President Smt. Droupadi Murmu in her address congratulated the citizens for making India the world’s largest and vibrant democracy. She said that in the illustrious journey of democracy in the country, ECI has played a very significant role with successful conduct of 17 Parliamentary elections and over 400 state assembly elections. With 96 crore voters, 1.5 crore election officials and 12 lakh polling booths across the country in the forthcoming General Elections 2024, the President said that Indian elections are a testament to the meticulous planning and execution by ECI, making it the world's largest logistics exercise. Use of technology in voting sets an example for the world, showcasing our nation's commitment to progress and efficiency in the electoral process, she added.
She complimented the Election Commission of India for undertaking remarkable initiatives to ensure a smooth and inclusive electoral process. She also commended the current and past ECI teams that ensure free, fair and participative conduct of elections in challenging situations.
While speaking on voter awareness and literacy, the President hailed the “Chunav Ka Parv, Desh Ka Garv” campaign as meaningful and inspirational. Further underlining the commission’s initiatives, the President said that the inclusion of electoral literacy into the national curriculum and the steps taken to include young people into the voters’ fold are commendable. She concluded her address by saying that the young voters who received their first EPIC cards today represent the future of India’s democracy when the country celebrates its golden year of 100 years as an independent nation in 2047.
Guest of Honour, Shri Arjun Ram Meghwal said that the ECI has played a significant role in the long journey of India’s democracy with free and fair conduct of elections since 1952. Taking a leaf out of the pages of history, Shri Meghwal said that the framers of the constitution after a long struggle enshrined the principle of adult suffrage, which served as a beacon for the newly independent countries in that period. He added that the electoral processes have evolved over the years with electoral reforms happening from time to time in response to several committee recommendations and the demands by the Parliament.
CEC Shri Rajiv Kumar in his address said that the unwavering trust of 96 crore electors in the Election commission of India is both the foundation and a source of motivation for the successful conduct of elections. Referring to the free, fair, inclusive and peaceful conduct of elections in 9 states in 2023, he emphasized that the Commission is committed to give all stakeholders the best possible experience and level playing field for all political parties in forthcoming Parliamentary Elections. He said that “It is the endeavor of the Election Commission of India to make the example of Indian elections notable across the world and further strengthen the image of India's electoral system as a gold standard in the entire world”.
CEC Shri Kumar added that political parties are the foremost partners in ensuring free and fair elections and asserted that the Commission bases its engagement with parties on three pillars of full disclosure, complete involvement and assured responsiveness in engaging with political parties. He urged all citizens to not just exercise their right to vote, but rejoice in the experience of being part of democracy.
Observing that the country has come leaps and bounds in its electoral journey, Election Commissioner Shri Anup Chandra Pandey said that the size of the electorate has increased from 17.32 crore in the first general elections to 96 crores for the upcoming general elections with a balanced gender distribution. He complimented the election machinery including the award winners for their unwavering commitment to ensure the smooth conduct of elections in the country.
Welcoming the dignitaries, Election Commissioner Shri Arun Goel stated that the presence of the Hon’ble President on the occasion was a source of strength to the commission. Referring to the heads of political parties present in the audience, Shri Goel complimented political parties for their willing adherence to the norms and standards of the electoral system. Describing India as not just the largest, but the oldest of democracies, Shri Goel said that since 1950, the role of the ECI in demystifying the electoral steps and creating simple administratively manageable and publicly verifiable processes is stuff of legends. He added that sustaining the persuasive and resisting the coercive has been the hallmark of the ECI’s ethos and its success mantra.
During the event, Hon’ble President presented the Best Electoral PracticesAwards for the year 2023. A total of 16 awardees were felicitated for their outstanding performance in the conduct of elections during 2023 in different spheres including IT initiatives, Security Management, Election Management, Accessible Election, Electoral Roll and contribution in the field of voter awareness and outreach by media. The Best Performing State award was given to Chief Electoral Office (CEO) Chhattisgarh for the smooth conduct of elections in 2023 under challenging circumstances.
(Download link for the NVD Brochure& list of award winners): https://www.eci.gov.in/eci-publication )
A commemorative postage stamp themed "Inclusive Elections" was released to celebrate the Election Commission of India’s 75th year of service to the Nation in light of the 2024 Parliamentary Elections.
The first copy of the ECI Publication ‘Initiatives of ECI for Parliamentary Elections 2024’ was presented to the Hon’ble President by Chief Election Commissioner Shri Rajiv Kumar. The book provides a comprehensive overview of the initiatives undertaken by each division of the ECI to ensure free, fair, inclusive, accessible, and participatory conduct of elections.
A short film to promote voter awareness - ‘My Vote My Duty’ produced by ECI in association with renowned filmmaker Shri Raj Kumar Hirani was also launched. The short film features several celebrities with their messages to evoke the spirit of democracy and power of one vote.
Watch at this Link: https://youtu.be/nL4wZO2o-fs
During the function, five newly enrolled voters from Delhi were also felicitated and handed over their Electors Photo Identity Card (EPIC) by the Hon’ble President.
A logo and tagline for a multi-media campaign for Voter Education and Awareness for the forthcoming Parliamentary Elections 2024 was also launched on the occasion.
The multimedia exhibition displayed at the venue showcased the magnitude of Indian elections, electoral reforms undertaken to improve the electoral process, technological advancements and election management innovations.
This year’s theme for NVD, ‘Nothing Like Voting, I Vote for Sure’ is a continuation of last year’s theme building up to the general elections 2024. It resonates with the aspirations and feelings of voters towards participation in the electoral process armed with the power of their vote.
Former CECs, representatives of political parties and Heads and representatives of Election Management bodies of a few countries also attended the event.ECI national icon and Bollywood star Rajkummar Rao also attended the event.
National Voters’ Day is celebrated on January 25 every year, all across the country to mark the foundation day of the Election Commission of India (25th January 1950). The main purpose of the NVD celebration is to create electoral awareness amongst citizens and encourage them to participate in the electoral process.