Kolkata, April 28 IANS | 4 months ago

West Bengal's Burdwan is abuzz with 'adda' (informal chat) sessions while white horse-drawn chariots accompanied by 'dhaakis' (drummers) gallop around encouraging the electorate to vote, courtesy the Election Commission's Systematic Voter Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) activities.


Channeling the Bengalis' love for addas and intense debates and discussions, the district officials have organised such sessions across the district whose Bardhaman Purba and Bardhaman-Durgapur parliamentary constituencies go to the hustings in the third phase Wednesday.

Besides, two assembly segments of Bolpur seat will see polling April 30.

The district also includes Asansol Lok Sabha seat and an assembly segment of Bishnupur constituency where the electorate would vote in the next phase May 7.

"We tried to maintain the informality of the addas and ensured they were not structured. The flow should be natural.

"The various block level officials give out the notification of the sessions and people came by and started participating," Sub-Divisional Magistrate (Bardhman Sadar North) Swapan Kumar Kundu told IANS.

"The addas have covered around 20 percent of the total poll booths," he said, adding the methods have been initiated since a month and a half.

With as many as 6,784 polling stations for the over 75 lakh electorate, the officials have resorted to other innovative and rather eye-catching measures.

The horse-drawn chariots with dhakis canter across the 31 blocks of the district pressing for electronic voting machine (EVM) awareness.

"The decked up chariots and white horses have have grabbed eyeballs. People come out to see what the buzz is about when the dhaakis beat their drums and this way we have promoted EVM awareness," he said.

(Posted on 28-04-2014)