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Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Mukund Nayak appointed Jharkhand icon for LS polls

For the first time, the election commission has decided to conduct the voters’ awareness campaign in tribal and other regional languages, apart from Hindi and English.

lok sabha elections Updated: Mar 30, 2019 16:23 IST
Sanjoy Dey
Sanjoy Dey
Hindustan Times, Ranchi
lok sabha elections 2019,jharkhand,jharkhand icon for Lok Sabha polls
Noted Jharkhand folk singer-dancer Mukund Nayak has been appointed state icon for the Lok Sabha elections.(Diwakar Prasad / HT File )

Padma Shri awardee and noted folk singer-dancer Mukund Nayak will be the state icon for the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls in Jharkhand, while state’s waterman Padma Shri Simon Oraon will be the icon for Ranchi district, election officials said on Friday.

Athlete Priyanka Kerketta, who is the national junior long jump record holder, has also been roped in as the second icon for Ranchi district, officials said.

With an aim to create awareness and motivate the people to participate in the electoral process, popular figures from the fields of sports, films, art and culture, social work and others are designated as state and district icons.

The chief electoral office has forwarded the name of noted Indian artist Mukund Nayak, who is a folk singer, songwriter, drummer and dancer, to the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Thursday to designate him as state icon for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, said chief electoral officer (CEO) L Khiyangate.

Nayak is the second state icon after Indian cricketer Saurav Tiwary. “We will have two state icons for this election, who would help improve voter turnouts by encouraging them to come to polling stations, using their popularity and campaign,” said additional CEO Vinay Kumar Choubey.

Tiwary could influence sports lovers and encourage them to come to polling stations for voting, while Nayak could do the same in art and culture sector, Choubey said. Nayak would also help in communicating the importance of voting in different tribal languages to the rural masses in Jharkhand.

For the first time, the election commission has decided to conduct the voters’ awareness campaign in tribal and other regional languages, apart from Hindi and English.

A Sangeet Natak Akademi awardee, Nayak would help in composing music and songs related to voters’ awareness, which would be spread via different programmes in the state.

“I have never been inclined to politics, as I feel culture unites the people whereas politics divides. Art and culture has been my worship. I have never been associated with any political party. This is why I feel my service was sought by the election commission,” Nayak said.

Nayak said that he would try his level best to convince and make voters understand the importance of voting in their languages. “I will prefer to hold programmes in village akharas, socio-cultural gatherings of tribal people, in their languages so that maximum people could participate in the electoral process.”

The CEO office has approved 32 names for district icons. However, Ranchi yet to submit its district icon’s name to the CEO.

Ranchi district public relation officer Prabhat Shankar said, “We have shortlisted Padma Shri Simon Oraon and athlete Priyanka Kerketta. Oraon’s name has been approved by the district election office, Kerketta’s approval is under process.”

First Published: Mar 30, 2019 16:23 IST