Election Commission to hold meeting to tackle voter apathy in urban & rural areas | India News

NEW DELHI: Keen to tackle voter apathy, particularly in urban settings, the Election Commission will on Friday hold a meeting with municipal commissioners of cities and select district election officers (DEOs) from across 11 states having a history of lowest voter turnout.
Among the invitees to the conference are the municipal commissioners of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Pune, Thane, Nagpur, Patna Sahib, Lucknow and Kanpur as well as DEOs of rural districts of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
An EC spokesperson on Thursday said the conference — to be chaired by chief election commissioner Rajiv Kumar along with election commissioners Gyanesh Kunar and Sukhbir Singh Sandhu — will discuss ways to step up voter turnout in ongoing general election to the Lok Sabha. It will deliberate and prepare targeted and specific action plans to address the issue of low voter turnout in the identified urban and rural areas.
Kumar has on many occasions in the past highlighted the challenges of urban apathy and migration from rural areas as the reasons for low participation of voters.
Eleven states and Union territories, namely, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, NCT of Delhi, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand, Telangana, Gujarat, Punjab, Rajasthan, J&K and Jharkhand had witnessed lower than the national polling average of 67.4% in the 2019 general elections to the Lok Sabha.
Of the 50 parliamentary constituencies (PCs) with the lowest voter turnouts, 17 were in metropolitan areas or major cities,
reflecting a trend of urban apathy.
Over 50 rural PCs across nine states with the lowest voter turnout have been identified for deliberation on specific issues and development of a strategy to enhance poll percentage.
A booklet on voter apathy will also be released by the Commission during the conference.

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