Bollywood song, parodies to improve voter turnout in Delhi

November 8th, 2008 - 10:28 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 8 (IANS) Election authorities in Delhi Saturday unveiled a new campaign involving cartoons, parodies and a popular Hindi film song to woo the young voters and improve the dwindling voting percentage in the capital city.“There is a mindset among young voters in Delhi that polling day is a big holiday. This needs to change and we are launching the awareness campaign to woo them to polling booths,” said Satbir Silas Bedi, chief electoral officer of the capital.

“We invested so much of money and human resources in providing photo ID cards and many people use it just to open a bank account, take a telephone connection or making passport. The most important function - to cast vote - is just not in their mind. This is sad,” Bedi told reporters.

This campaign, based on a Hindi film song “Pappu can’t dance” from the hit movie “Jane Tu Jane Na”, will give the message that those who will not vote or don’t vote are not smart.

“The message is casting your vote is the new fashion statement of Delhi. Those who don’t vote are good for nothing,” Bedi said.

There will be 12 segments of the campaign and each segment will cater to a group of people who generally avoid voting.

“In our first segment, we are targeting the young voters (18-29 age group) and the aim is to make them aware of their responsibilities. We are taking the help of songs, cartoons and caricatures just because it will appeal to youngsters and deliver the message through fun,” she added.

During the 2003 assembly elections, only 49 percent of voters exercised their franchise and during last year’s municipal council election it dropped to a dismal 43 percent.

“This is worrisome and we want to negate the trend,” Bedi said.

On Saturday, 110 candidates filed their nominations taking the total number of candidates who have so far filed their nominations to 193. Bharatiya Janata Party’s chief ministerial hopeful V.K. Malhotra filed his nomination Saturday from the Greater Kailash constituency.

With 10.7 million voters, Delhi goes to polls Nov 29.

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