Four days to go for the civic polls in Mumbai, and more than 11 lakh Mumbaiites have pledged to vote on February 21, under a campaign initiated by the Maharashtra State Election Commissioner (SEC) and NGOs.
The campaign asked citizens to give a missed call and pledge to vote. Citizens can still do so on: 9029901901.
Ruben Mascarenhas, the CEO (operations) from Operation Black Dot, an NGO working with the SEC, said the numbers were a good start.
“People have taken the first step, which is good news. The numbers are only going to increase.”
Apart from the SEC campaign, an initiative run by college students has also got a decent response. Vote for Mumbai, a social-media campaign by youngsters includes an event page on Facebook, where 1,700-2,000 citizens pledged to vote.
Following a massive voters induction drive in 2016, 2.39 lakh new voters registered themselves in the city, taking the count to 91,80,635, out of a population of 1.24 crore. But while more than 70% of the citizens are registered voters, turnouts in Mumbai have remained poor over the years — not crossing even the 50%-mark.
The voter turnout is an important factor to decide who will rule the country’s richest civic body. The BMC and SEC are leaving no stone unturned to spread awareness.
Apart from roping in more than 100 colleges, the SEC has also created a chatbot, is running campaigns on social media and reaching out to housing societies. Various NGOs are also running campaigns to increase voter awareness.