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Seemingly unfazed at being ousted from the Asian Athletics Association, scam-tainted Suresh Kalmadi on Monday said losing the presidential re-election bid to Qatar’s Dahlan Jumaan Al-Hamad has actually given him a chance to work at the “grassroots” level.
“I have no issues today and I congratulate Mr Al-Hamad for being elected as President. I am rather relieved that I will be able to work at the grassroots level in athletics,” Mr. Kalmadi said after losing the vote during the ongoing AAA Congress in Pune.

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Voter turnout increased satisfactorily across India in latest phase of elections: CEC Quraishi

Tuesday - Apr 03, 2012, 02:41pm (GMT+5.5)
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NOIDA (Uttar Pradesh) - Chief Election Commissioner S.Y.Quraishi has said that voter turnout in the elections has increased to avery satisfactory level in recent times, adding that  the recent assembly elections, one city in a state had witnessed an average turnout of about 80 percent.
Addressing and interacting with faculty and students of the Amity School of Communications (ASCO) here, Quraishi said that Election Commission plays a major role from the initialization of  election process to the final results.

He said that the commission faces many obstacles in order to maintain democracy as well as carry out successful and impartial elections.

He stressed that one of the major problems that the commission face is the presence of criminals in Vidhan Sabha and Parliament.

Although, the commission wants to keep such candidates away and debarred from contending the elections, but then the politicians ask for the benefit of doubt. Nevertheless, the  commission provides safeguards for candidates by placi ng stringent rules and regulations, he added.

“Another problem is the indifferent attitude of the youth towards their government and election process. Young people just don’t want to vote,” expressed Dr. Quraishi.

 To counter this problem, Dr. Quraishi shared that, the election commission has been carrying out various campaigns to enlighten and encourage the youth to vote. 

After the last campaign, the number of voters went up to 12 percent in a particular state, following which a voter education campaign was launched to target remote areas, as a result of which  voter turnout in Uttar Pradesh improved by 30 percent, whereas the statistics reached 80 percent in case of Lucknow. The female population has started participating more than their male  counterparts in the wake of the campaign

“India has more than 75 crore voters and is one of the largest democracies in the world. It is also one of the rare contenders of single polling booths, which help the Commission to reach  even the remotest parts of any state and continuous efforts are made in order to reach every nook and cranny,” remarked Dr. Quraishi.

Dr. Quraishi averred that the Election commission derives its power from the laws stated in the Constitution as well as the Supreme Court. India is also one of the few countries where  elections are conducted by bureaucrats, apart from which, the commission has the authority to ask any member of the government to help execute the polls. According to Dr. Quraishi, the  Indian voters are smartest in the world, who keep throwing surprises at politicians and thus the government keeps changing.

Dr. Quraishi shared that every year, the Election Commission observes January 25 as Voter’s day, as a result of which a large number of youth are registering for Voters’ Id Card. Millions of  voter ID cards are distributed on this day in order to create awareness among the youth and the importance of their vote.

The talk was attended by hundreds of students, faculty members, HODs/HOIs, Directors of various Institutes of Amity University.


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