NEW DELHI: As the Election Commission aims to ensure a 75 percent voter turnout in the upcoming elections, President Draupadi Murmu on Wednesday urged people to see voting as their contribution to nation building.

She said people should vote in the spirit of the “primordial nation”.

Addressing an event to mark the 13th National Voters Day, she said it is a great achievement of the electoral process and democracy in India that the active participation of women in the democratic process continues to increase.

In the 2019 elections in Lok Sabha, the number of women voters was slightly higher than that of men.

She noted that for the first time in the history of the Indian Parliament, the total number of female MPs in both Houses combined had reached the 115 mark.

From the gram panchayats to parliament, women are making significant contributions. Their participation and numbers are expected to increase further, she said.

The President said that social revolution has been possible in the country over the past seven decades thanks to the electoral process. It is a great success of our democracy that the ordinary voter living in remote areas feels they have a major role to play in deciding who would govern the country or state and how they would do it.

She gave the Electoral Identity Card with Photo (EPIC) to five young people who had recently become voters.

During the event, President Murmu presented the national awards for the year 2022.

National Election Best Practices Awards will be presented to state and district level officers for their outstanding performance in conducting elections in 2022 in different areas such as IT initiatives, security management, election management, accessible elections, voters lists and their contribution to the field of outreach and voter education.

National awards will also be given to important stakeholders such as ministries and the media for their valuable contribution to voter education.

A first copy of the ECI publication, “Electing the First Citizen – An Illustrated Chronicle of India’s Presidential Elections”, will be presented to the President by Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar.

The book, a one-of-a-kind publication, provides insight into the historical journey of the presidential elections in the country. It sheds light on the nuances of the presidential electoral system and associated constitutional arrangements through the timeline of the last 16 presidential elections.

A song – “Main Bharat Hoon- Hum Bharat Ke Matdata Hain” – produced by the Electoral Commission in association with the Subhash Ghai Foundation, will also be screened.

The song brings out the power of the vote and celebrates the spirit of inclusive, accessible, ethical, participatory and festive elections in the world’s largest and most vibrant democracy.

Since 2011, National Voters Day has been observed on January 25 every year to mark the day of the founding of the Electoral Commission in 1950, a day before India became a republic.

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