Lok sabha elections 2019: Seeking a turnout boost, PM Narendra Modi reaches out to ‘influencers’
The 2019 elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, are special because for the first time, those born in the 21st century will be able to cast their votes.Updated: Mar 14, 2019 07:39 IST
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday sent Twitter messages to politicians from the opposition and allies, Bollywood personalities, sportspeople and others, urging them to step up voter awareness efforts to ensure a strong turnout in the seven-phase general election starting on April 11.
“My fellow Indians, urging you all to strengthen voter awareness efforts across India. Let us all ensure maximum number of Indians come out to vote in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections,” Modi, who has 46.3 million followers on Twitter, wrote on the microblogging site.
Modi sent out a series of tweets from his personal handle, tagging politicians including Rahul Gandhi, Akhilesh Yadav, Mamata Banerjee and Mayawati; sports personalities like Saina Nehwal, Yogeshwar Dutt, MS Dhoni, and Virat Kohli; and Bollywood stars Deepika Padukone, Salman Khan, Shahrukh Khan and Anushka Sharma. He also sent the message to industrialist Ratan Tata, yoga guru Baba Ramdev and Sri Sri Ravishankar, founder of the Art of Living Foundation.
Modi also shared on Twitter a blog titled Four Requests for Democracy that he wrote on his personal website, urging people to vote.
“Let us create an environment where getting one’s voter card and casting a vote, especially for the first time, become occasions for celebration,” he wrote in the blog.
“There should also be an environment where not voting causes great anguish. Would you want a situation where something happens in the country that you disapprove of and you are forced to think — because I did not go vote that day, this unfortunate situation has arisen and the nation is suffering.”
He also shared a link where people can register as voters.
The 2019 elections, Modi said, are special because for the first time, those born in the 21st century will be able to cast their votes. “I hope all eligible youngsters who have not registered to vote will do so and enrich our democracy by voting,” he said.
He said a higher voter turnout means a stronger democracy and a stronger democracy means a developed India
“The last few elections, in various states and at the Centre, have witnessed record turnout. Continuing this encouraging trend, I urge my fellow Indians to vote in record numbers in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections,” he wrote in his blog.
He called upon “influencers from all fields, including politics, industry, sports, films and other walks of life” to take the lead in spreading voter awareness. The prime minister expressed the hope that the upcoming elections will witness the highest ever turnout in the history of Indian elections.
Former Uttar Pradesh chief minister and Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav took a swipe at the Prime Minister. “Felt happy as the Prime Minister is appealing to the Grand Alliance for great change. I also appeal to the citizens to vote in high numbers and choose a new Prime Minister,” Yadav wrote on Twitter, attaching Modi’s tweet in which he tagged leaders of the Opposition’s Mahagathbandhan (grand alliance).
The elections will conclude on May 19 and the results will be declared on May 23.
First Published: Mar 14, 2019 00:27 IST