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EC to brainstorm with grassroots officials, aims to increase voter turnout in 11 states

The 11 states and Union Territories targeted for increasing the turnout are Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand, Telangana, Gujarat, Punjab, Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir and Jharkhand.
Last Updated : 04 April 2024, 16:53 IST
Last Updated : 04 April 2024, 16:53 IST

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New Delhi: Stepping up efforts to increase voter turnout in the Lok Sabha polls, the Election Commission will on Friday brainstorm with municipal commissioners and district election officers of 11 states that have registered a low polling percentage in the past.

Both rural and urban parliamentary constituencies with low voter turnouts have been identified for targeted outreach.

In a first-of-its-kind initiative, the commission will discuss with municipal commissioners and selected district election officers from 11 states that had the lowest voter turnouts.

The meeting, the poll authority said, will discuss ways to step up turnout in the seven-phase Lok Sabha polls that begin on April 19.

It will deliberate and prepare 'targeted and specific action plans' to address the issue of low voter turnouts in certain urban and rural areas.

The conference will be chaired by Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar along with Election Commissioners Gyanesh Kumar and Sukhbir Singh Sandhu.

Kumar has on many occasions highlighted the challenge of urban apathy and migration from rural areas as reasons for low electoral participation.

The 11 states and Union Territories targeted for increasing the turnout are Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand, Telangana, Gujarat, Punjab, Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir and Jharkhand.

The turnouts in these states and Union Territories were lower than the national average of 67.40 per cent in the 2019 parliamentary polls.

Of the 50 seats with the lowest turnouts, 17 were found to be in metropolitan areas or major cities, reflecting an 'unfortunate' trend of urban apathy, the commission said.

More than 50 rural seats in nine states with the lowest voter turnouts have been identified for deliberation on specific issues and developing strategies to enhance poll percentage.

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Published 04 April 2024, 16:53 IST

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