Kolkata, March 12 IANS | 5 months ago

The popularity of West Bengal's vibrant Chhau and Gambhira folk dances will be utilised by the Election Commission (EC) as part of its awareness drives for the voters in the state, an official said Wednesday.


Stressing on awareness drives, especially for first-time voters, the commission has tied-up with Doordarshan to design audio-visual content for these campaigns.

"We have discussed with Doordarshan officials to develop the content for the campaigns. These campaigns will be culture-specific and will inform the masses about the voting procedure," Amitjyoti Bhattacharji, assistant chief electoral officer, told reporters here.

"We have decided on Chhau from Purulia district and Gambhira folk dance from Malda district," he said.

To increase voter turnout, particularly among the urban youth and young women, the EC is intensely stressing on such awareness campaigns.

"This will motivate them to vote... for ethical voting or inducement-free voting," Bhattacharji said.

According to EC figures, there has been a remarkable increase in the enrollment of electors in the age group of 18-19 years.

Electors of this age group now constitute 2.88 percent of India's total electors, as against 0.75 percent in 2009.

Special camps were conducted with industry bodies ASSOCHAM and FICCI, among others, to provide information regarding registering of names in electoral rolls, he said.

With reference to complaints regarding violation of the model code of conduct, the office has received 10 reports in the last two-three days, said Amit Roy Chaudhury, OSD and ex-officio Joint Secretary.

Trinamool Congress' Birbhum district chief Anubrata Mandal and a senior CPI-M leader were already under the commission's scanner for using alleged inappropriate language at rallies.

(Posted on 12-03-2014)