The Election Commission of India organised a candle light ceremony in Amritsar to create awareness among the masses to exercise their right to vote during the general elections. Many youngsters, a majority of whom were first-time voters, lit a candle each as a sort of pledge to cast their vote on April 30, when Punjab goes to polls in single phase voting.
Deputy Commissioner-cum-District Electoral Officer, Ravi Bhagat, said the act of lighting a candle means that the youngsters are aware of their duty to cast their ballot. He said the candlelight marches are often held as mark of protest, but for perhaps the first time, this method has been used in a positive manner for a national cause.
"We have been carrying out a voter awareness programme since a month in the city and this is the final day of the programme. We have lit candles here to ensure that every voter practices his/her right and cast their vote. They should remember the significance of their right to vote and the change the country's electorate can make. But this programme mainly aims to reach out to 37000 youth to make sure that they do cast their vote on the voting day," said Bhagat. He also added that almost 30 percent of country's population comprises of the youth, and it is they who can usher in a change in the future of the country.
Meanwhile, Deputy Commisioner of the Income Tax Department, Dr. Tarundeep Kaur, who was also present at the event, thanked all the participants for their efforts and urged the citizens to come out in huge numbers on polling day to contribute in the formation of a new national government.
"Today, we carried out the candle light ceremony under the programme "Systematic Voters' Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP)" which has been organised by Election Commission of India. Through this ceremony we want to tell the people to come out in huge numbers on April 30, the polling day, without any kind of allurement or fear and cast their vote to select a good candidate," said Kaur.