The Times of India

PATNA: Corruption likely to be one of the main issues for the young voters in the parliamentary polls, the Bihar Election Watch (BEW) has designed slogans like 'My vote is not for sale' for its campaign going on to make the rural population aware about 'crime in politics' and 'money in politics'.

This initiative has been taken by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), the parent body of BEW, set up to improve governance in India. The BEW has initiated organizing a series of seminars and meetings at constituency level. These meetings are held with 100 persons from various fields.

"This kind of initiative impacts voters at all level. The local leaders and volunteers create awareness among the self-help groups (SHGs) and among communities through meetings", Rajiv Kumar of BEW said, adding, "Women participation in politics is negligible. To reduce criminalization, women should be encouraged to vote and participate in politics."

BEW has already conducted six constituency-level meetings and planned six more such meetings. They focus on corruption in politics, inner democracy, free and fair election. The volunteers are telling the people to casting their votes in favour of honest candidates.

Kumar said the option of 'none of the above' ( NOTA) has been introduced, so one has the right to reject the candidates in the fray.

Songs like 'Le Mashalen Chal Padi........" are getting popular, particularly among women voters. Issues like dowry, molestation, rape and human trafficking are being discussed. A woman is not even safe in the house. Female foeticide is rampant and causing low sex ratio, said Pramila, a woman activist.

BEW has already conducted such meetings in Motihari, Hajipur, Aurangabad, Bhagalpur and Masaurhi. The next round meetings will be held in Supaul, Jamui, Araria, Bhabhua, Gaya, Samastipur and Bettiah.

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