Vote is a Pious Responsibility: Don’t let the moment pass: Pause and ponder, assess and act; Vice President.

New Delhi: The Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that Vote is a pious responsibility and everyone should exercise it to improve quality of the polity, strengthen democracy and build glorious future for individuals and nation. In a message, he said that one should not let the moment pass: Pause and ponder, assess and act.

Following is the text of Vice President’s message:

“Tomorrow is the beginning of the largest democratic election in the world in which, over the next five weeks nearly 90 crore voters will exercise their franchise in about 10 lakh polling stations across the country to elect their representatives to the Parliament and a few State Legislatures.

India can legitimately be proud of the fact that it adopted universal adult suffrage right from the founding of the Republic in 1950. As Shri Alladi Krishnaswamy Ayyar, Member of the Constituent Assembly said, “More than any other provision in the Constitution, I should think the boldest step taken by this Assembly is in the matter of universal adult suffrage with a belief in the common man and his power to shape the future of the country”.

That is the faith our Constitution makers reposed in each one of us. It is that trust in the wisdom of the people and their ability to shape the future of our country that drives our electoral processes.

Over the last seventy years, more and more people have participated in elections. While there were about 17 crore voters in 1951, the number increased to 83 crore in 2014. While the voter turnout in the 1951 elections was 44.8% it was 66.3% in 2014. Even though this reflects a significant improvement, more voters must participate in the electoral process. Voter turnout must be enhanced. There are 465 political parties today as compared to only 53 in 1951. Clearly, the seeds of democracy sown in 1950 have taken root. They must be further nourished.

We are today the largest democracy in the world. We must now make it the best democracy in the world.

We, the people, have an opportunity to realize that dream. We have to exercise the right to vote, the right to choose and the right to shape the quality of our polity.

I would urge each one of our citizens to exercise this precious right to make their opinion count and elect the representatives who have the 4 positive characteristics or 4 Cs, as I call it: character, calibre, competence and conduct they wish to see in these public representatives.

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