National Voter’s Day observed at Chintan Bhawan

Gangtok, January 25 (IPR): Hon’ble Governor, Shri Ganga Prasad, attended the 13th National Voter’s Day as the Chief Guest of the programme here at Chintan Bhawan Gangtok today.
The theme for this year’s national voter’s day was “Nothing like voting, I vote for sure.” The celebratory programme was organised by the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer.
The theme for this year’s National Voter’s Day, ‘Nothing Like Voting, I Vote for Sure’ is devoted to voters for encouraging participation in the electoral process through the power of their votes.
At the onset, the message of Chief Election Commissioner ECI, Shri Rajiv Kumar was played during the programme.
District Election Officer Gangtok-cum-DC Gangtok, Shri Tushar Nikhare, in his address, spoke about India being the largest democracy in the world and how voting has played an important role. He credited the Electoral Commission of India for peaceful elections in recent times and its responsibility for making India the largest democracy in the world.
Chief Election Officer, Shri D. Anandan, highlighted about the brief history of National Voter’s Day and its main objective to encourage, maximize and sensitize voting rights all over India. He gave the statistics of the election in Sikkim and thanked the ROs, AEROs, BLOs and Election Department for conducting safe and fair elections in the State. He stressed about the importance of sensitizing eligible citizens to participate in the democratic process.He also mentioned various initiatives taken by the State to encourage eligible voters to use their rights.
State Icons were felicitated with Khadas through the hands of the Hon’ble Governor:
1. Ms. Draupadi Ghimiray
2. Ms. Sandhya Gurung
3. Mr. Bikram Bhattarai
The celebration also included felicitation of “Best BLOs” with Shields, Cash Prize, Certificates and Khadas:
1. Gyalshing District- Smt. Sangkit Lepcha.
2. Soreng District- Shri Jai Kumar Pandey.
3. Namchi District- Shri Prakash Chettri.
4. Gangtok District- Shri Dhan Kumar Rai.
5. Pakyong District- Smt. Laxmu Prasad Khatiwada.
6. Mangan District- Shri L.B. Subba.
Fifteen new voters including one transgender voter were given EPIC (Electoral Photo Identity Cards) and felicitated with khadas by the Hon’ble Governor.
During the course of the programme, a video displaying the message of the Chief Election Commissioner ECI, Shri Rajiv Kumar was played. A mock election video conducted by CEO Sikkim in ECCS of the State was also played during the programme.
Hon’ble Governor in his address extended his warm greetings to everyone present in the programme, especially the young voters who received EPICS. In his speech, he emphasized the importance of voting in strengthening democracy. He further stressed on the importance of youth participation in the election process and their role in electing the leader who will represent them.
He requested the youth to use their voting rights with responsibility shunning caste, religion, sex, community etc. as their vote can decide the fate of a state and country. Furthermore, he emphasized on sensitizing citizens living in rural areas about the importance of voting. In the end, he hoped for the continuation of participation of citizens from all walks of life in the State in the voting process.
At the outset of the programme, SDM Gangtok, Ms. Pari Bishnoi IAS, thanked Governor for gracing the occasion as the Chief Guest and thanked the dignitaries for attending the programme. She also thanked the Person with Disabilities (PwD) voters for their presence. In the end, she said that Democracy is not a special privilege but it is carried out in actions and she hoped the attendees will inculcate the words recited in the National Voter’s Day pledge to heart.
The day saw the presence of the Chief Secretary, GoS, Shri V.B. Pathak IAS, Additional Chief Secretary GoS, Shri A. Sudhakar Rao IPS, Director General of Police GoS, Shri A.K. Singh IPS, ADC Gangtok, ADC Development, HoDs of various line departments, BLOs, concerned Govt officials and new voters.