Poll panel showcases ballot power in R-Day parade

Poll panel showcases ballot power in R-Day parade

Amid a grand display of India's military might, the Election Commission for the first time in the history of Republic Day parade Thursday put on show the power of ballot too, and sought to woo the electorate, particularly youngsters, to come out to vote.

The panel marked its first presence at the Republic Day parade and rolled its tableau down Rajpath depicting a mammoth model of electronic voting machine and banners asking young Indians to vote.  

With elections barely a week away in some states, the poll panel used its participation in the parade as a platform to get more people to vote, an Election Commission official said.

The tableau depicted the entire election process with a replica of Parliament House in the backdrop.  Human replicas lining up to cast their vote with their voter ID cards surrounded the float.

A human bust was shown beating a nagada, a big kettledrum played with sticks, as if asking more and more people to come to polling booths and vote. The poll panel float was among the 23 tableaux from 23 states and union ministries and departments exhibiting diverse historical, architectural and cultural heritage of India and its progress in various fields.

The Election Commission tableau also highlighted the National Voter's Day, observed for the second time Jan 25, which is also the panel's foundation day. It observes the day with the objective to maximise enrolment of voters and thereby enhance the quality of Indian democracy.

The panel was set up Jan 25, 1950, as a constitutional body to conduct free and fair elections.