Guwahati:  As India prepares for the general elections to form the 18th Lok Sabha, various political parties have tried their best to attract nearly  970 million voters to exercise their franchise in favor of their candidates. The greatest electoral show on Earth will begin on 19 April 2024 and continue till 1 June, following which 543 members to the lower house of the Indian Parliament will be declared elected on 4 June after the counting of the votes in EVMs. The voting in seven phases will also comprise the  State legislative assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh.

Northeast will go for polls from the first phase itself, where Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Sikkim will have single-phase polling on 19 April. Tripura and Manipur will have two phases (19 and 26 April) while Assam is to witness three phases (19, 26 April, and 7 May) of voting. The voters will elect 25 members to Lok Sabha from the region with around 60 million of population. Once a bastion of the Congress, the region slowly slipped into the regional political parties, but now the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has intruded into the electorate’s mind.  Needless to say, the region usually records a higher voting percentage (over 80%) than mainland India.

Aiming to record an almost 100% voter turnout, Lok Jagaran Mancha Asom has started a massive campaign to inspire the voters to reach the polling booths on time to cast their votes. With an aim to strengthen democracy in India, the nationalist forum urges each and every voter to come forward and to exercise their franchise.  It argues that a huge country like India with significant diversities needs a stable and powerful government in New Delhi to maintain all-around development activities.  The alliance of parties possessing weak national interests must not come to power as it will finally ruin the nation, added the forum through a leaflet, published from Alok Bhawan in Guwahati.

The forum with a music video, where many popular Assamese cultural personalities participated, insisted on the arrival in the polling booths by the respected voters along with their family members. Eligible electorates from their neighborhood and new groups of voters should be encouraged to participate in the process with pride and responsibilities. The forum also reminded the people to think of India’s recent growth as the fifth largest economy in the world, a powerful entity with changed foreign policies and enriched national security, resolving the  Kashmir problems after abrogating  Article 370, banning the Islamic practice of Triple Talaq for the benefit of Muslim women, etc before electing their representatives.

Construction of the majestic Ram Mandir at Ayodhya, adoption of New National Education Policy (NEP) to reform the education system from school to college levels, reducing the psychological distance from New Delhi to the north-eastern region, enhancing public awareness about iconic figures like Lachit Barphukan, Bir Chilarai, Maharaja Prithu, Kumar Bhaskar Varma, etc evicting encroachers from Batadrawa/ Bordowa Than (birthplace of Srimanta Sankardeva), developing the birthplaces of Mahapurush Madhavdev, Damodardev, Anirudhadev, Haridev, etc making Kaziranga National Park & Tiger Reserve encroachment-free, declaring two wildlife sanctuaries in the Goalpara district to prevent the Bangladeshi infiltration into the forest lands, propagating strong actions against anti-Bharat  campaigners and encouraging organic farming by local youths, etc are also mentioned as achievements of the present regime.