To improve the voting percentage in the ensuing civic elections in February-March next year, the State Election Commission (SEC) has directed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and other civic bodies to rope in college students, celebrities, housing societies, hotels, malls and theatres to encourage the electorate to visit polling booths.
The SEC has directed the municipal corporations to identify the wards with the low voter turnout and launch awareness campaigns there.
In a recent meeting, the commission asked the BMC and other corporations to connect with housing societies, which can play an active role to boost the turnout. “Some of the wards in South Mumbai witness very low voting percentage. We have told the BMC to induct college students in the drive and ask them to visit families at least two to three times in ten days ahead of the elections. We believe the appeal by students will work wonders,” state election commissioner JS Saharia told Hindustan Times. “The BMC has been asked to seek celebrities’ help to encourage people to vote,” Saharia said.
The malls, hotels, clubs will be asked to put up banners, while corporate companies will be requested to spend their CSR fund for the campaign.
The SEC also held a meeting with 19 community radio stations for the drive.
Ten municipal corporations and 26 district councils will face elections.
The commission hopes 40,000-odd housing societies will participate in the drive