Right to vote must be respected: President
New Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind said on Monday that the right to vote must be respected, noting that people around the world have struggled a lot for it.
Addressing the 11th National Voters’ Day Celebrations, Kovind said even in America, which is known to be one of the leading democracies in the world, people had to undertake decades of struggle to get this right.
In Britain, women got the right to vote after a long fight, he said.
The condition was similar in India before Independence. But after India’s Independence, anyone of 21 years of age and above were allowed. The voting age was later reduced to 18, he said.
“We should always respect the valuable right to vote. The right to vote is not a simple right. People around the world have struggled a lot for this. Since Independence, our Constitution has given equal voting rights to all citizens without any discrimination on the basis of merit, religion, race, caste,” Kovind said.
The President said B R Ambedkar, the chief architect of the Indian Constitution, considered the right to vote as paramount.
“Therefore, it is the responsibility of all of us, especially our youth, who get the right to vote for the first time, to exercise their franchise with the utmost sincerity and inspire others too to do so,” he added.
He also praised the Election Commission for conducting successful and safe elections in Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh last year during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The National Voters’ Day is celebrated on January 25 every year since 2011 to mark the foundation day of the Election Commission of India.
The main purpose of the National Voters’ Day celebration is to encourage, facilitate and maximise enrolment, especially for the new voters. Dedicated to the voters of the country, the day is utilised to spread awareness among voters and for promoting informed participation in the electoral process.