Poll panel unveils mascot to lure first-time voters in Bengal

Kolkata, March 20: In a bid to woo as many as 20 lakh first-time voters in West Bengal, the Election Commission Thursday here unveiled its youthful mascot “Ananya”, armed with catchy slogans and creative taglines.

Replacing the older mascot “Ananda Babu”, the image of a yellow salwar-clad ‘Ananya’ will be seen across posters and hoardings, and her friendly voice saying “Our vote, our Right” will be heard on radio egging on youngsters to vote.

“Our content is target specific and one of our targets is the youth, especially the first-time voters and young women,” assistant chief electoral officer, West Bengal, Amitjyoti Bhattacharji told reporters here.

“We are planning to upload it online,” he said.

Besides this, chief electoral officer Sunil Gupta will be seen in audio-visuals (AVs), generating awareness among the residents of the state. Iconic structures like the Victoria Memorial and the Howrah Bridge added in the backdrop adds to the appeal.

“We have developed a few AVs where our CEO will appeal to the people of the state in Bengali to cast their vote. He will also be seen urging the youth and in other AVs he will generate information about electronic voting machines (EVMs),” said Bhattacharji.

Banners and hoardings targeted at the rural areas, old and young generation of women, corporate sector, youth have also been developed by in-house staff of the commission.

In addition, interventions in specific polling booths have also been chalked out.

The official process for the Lok Sabha polls in West Bengal began Wednesday with the panel issuing the notification for four seats — Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri, Alipurduar and Cooch Behar — in the northern part of the state where polling would be held April 17.

IANS