Shillong(Meghalaya), Feb 17 : Chief Electoral Officer Frederick Roy Kharkongor has pointed out that in the subject of citizens exercising their right to vote, no coercion is ever exercised.
“The exercise of democratic franchise is an exercise of free will and choice,” Kharkongor said today while reacting to the alleged ostracism of 18 women by the Niriang Dorbar Shnong in West Jaintia Hills for not voting in the last MLA and MDC elections.
It may be noted here that the Niriang Dorbar Shnong had on December 7, 2019 ostracised 18 women from the village without citing reasons.
These women were denied access to firewood, rice meant for distribution during death in a family, farming in the village land and were also debarred from taking part in any social activity.
Asked about his reaction , Kharkongor while maintaining that every individual has a choice whether to vote or not said that the Election Commission of India (ECI) is committed to ensuring that no voter is left behind.
“In this context, the ECI’s endeavour is to create awareness that ‘every vote counts’ and that through continuous voter education every eligible citizen is actively encouraged to enroll and vote,” he added.
Kharkongor also pointed out that voters can opt for the None Of The Above (NOTA) option on the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) if they feel dissatisfied with the candidates.
He also said that the ECI seeks to engage every citizen so that they do not secede from the electoral process but actively engage themselves.
By special arrangement with Highland Post
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