Describing voting as a “prime” duty, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 13 urged personalities, including Pranab Mukherjee, Rahul Gandhi, Mamata Banerjee, Ratan Tata and P V Sandhu, to encourage people to exercise their franchise in the Lok Sabha elections beginning April 11.
In a series of tweets and a blog post, he said voting is among a citizen’s prime duties. “A vote signifies the willingness to contribute to the development trajectory of the nation. By voting, people connect themselves with the country’s dreams and aspirations,” he wrote.
He tagged personalities from a cross-section of society, including politics, industry, media, films, sports and social work, to drive home his point. “I appeal to @RahulGandhi, @MamataOfficial, @PawarSpeaks, @Mayawati, @yadavakhilesh, @yadavtejashwi and @mkstalin to encourage increased voter participation in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. A high turnout augurs well for our democratic fabric,” Modi wrote on his personal Twitter handle.
In another tweet, he urged film personalities such as Mohan Lal and Nagarjuna Akkineni to create greater voter awareness. “Your performances have entertained millions over the years and you have also won many awards. I request you to create greater voter awareness and urge people to vote in large numbers,” he said.
The Prime Minister said not voting should create “anguish” amongst people who do not turn up at polling stations. “Would you want a situation where something happens in the country that you disapprove of and you are forced to think – because I did not go vote that day, this unfortunate situation has arisen and the nation is suffering,” he wrote on his blog on Wednesday. He also shared a link where people can register as voters.
The 2019 elections, Modi said, are special because for the first time those born in the 21st century will be able to cast their votes. “I hope all eligible youngsters who have not registered to vote will do so and enrich our democracy by voting,” he said.
Tagging several media personalities and institutions, including Vineet Jain, Sanjay Gupta, Aroon Purie, and Press Trust of India and ANI news agencies, he said the media plays a vital role in a democracy and has a strong influence on people’s minds. “I request @Sanjaygupta0702, @aroonpurie and @18RahulJoshi to work towards greater voter awareness and registration that ensures an impressive turnout at the hustings.”
As leading public voices associated with important platforms, your support on voter awareness will be valuable and beneficial for 130 crore Indians,” Modi tweeted. He said a higher voting means a stronger democracy and a stronger democracy means a developed India. “The last few elections, in various states and at the Centre, have witnessed record turnout. Continuing this encouraging trend, I urge my fellow Indians to vote in record numbers in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections,” he wrote in his blog.
He called upon “influencers from all fields, including politics, industry, sports, films and other walks of life” to take the lead in spreading voter awareness and value of high voting. The prime minister expressed the hope that the upcoming elections will witness the highest ever turnout in the history of Indian elections.