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India General Elections 2024: Free rides and big discounts for Patna voters

Updated on: 29 May,2024 07:18 AM IST  |  Patna
Diwakar Sharma |

Over 43 lakh voters, including transgender individuals and seniors, to benefit from ‘knock the door’ campaign, free e-rickshaws and discounts from local businesses

India General Elections 2024: Free rides and big discounts for Patna voters

E-rickshaws arranged by the district administration. Pics/Diwakar Sharma

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India General Elections 2024: Free rides and big discounts for Patna voters

The Patna district administration is actively promoting voting awareness in both urban and rural areas of the Pataliputra and Patna Sahib constituencies. Over 43 lakh voters, including transgenders, are expected to vote in the final phase of the general election on June 1. Led by District Magistrate Kapil Ashok Shirsat, officials have been running a ‘knock the door’ campaign since mid-February to encourage voter turnout. Additionally, more than 78,000 voters in these constituencies are over the age of 85.

Massive seizures

Though liquor is banned in Bihar, since the Model Code of Conduct began on March 16, Patna’s administration has seized 39,864 litres of liquor worth Rs 1.31 crore and narcotics worth Rs 2.30 crore. Additionally, eight weapon licences were revoked or surrendered, and 94 illegal weapons and 290 live cartridges were confiscated to ensure peaceful polling.

Free e-rickshaws rides

To assist impoverished voters, the district administration has organised 1,000 e-rickshaws to operate in Patna Sahib and Pataliputra constituencies, transporting voters to and from polling booths. Patna District Public Relations Officer Lokesh Kumar Jha told mid-day, “Not only the government machinery but all stakeholders are participating in voter awareness activities.” 

Campaign to educate voters
Campaign to educate voters

He added, “Private institutions like cinema halls, hospitals, shopping malls, and restaurants have come forward to offer ‘democracy discounts’ to those with inked fingers.” Private entities approached the Patna district magistrate with their discount proposals. Jha stated, “Discounts will be given by these private firms for two consecutive days, June 1 and 2. All cinema halls in Patna will give a 50 per cent discount to anyone with an inked finger.”

Jha also mentioned, “Bike taxi service ‘Rapido’ announced free rides for voters on polling day. After voting, riders will be brought back home at no cost. They need to use the code ‘Vote Now’ on their application.” He highlighted the enthusiastic participation of various stakeholders, including cinema halls, food chains, industry organisations, schools, and others in the awareness campaign.

“Pramod Laddu Bhandar announced a 10 per cent discount for voters showing inked fingers on June 1 across their Patna branches,” he said. “Many hospitals, cafes, cake shops, and malls are offering concessions to voters, which will help in registering a large voter turnout,” Jha added. “Since mid-February, we’ve been running the ‘knock the door’ campaign, meeting each voter. Later, we launched ‘Know Your Booth and Cast Your Vote’ to inform voters about their polling booths,” Jha explained.

“There are 4,290 polling booths in Pataliputra and Patna Sahib constituencies. We organised ‘Matdaan Sabha’ at all booths starting from May 1 to discuss and clear voter doubts. For those who couldn’t attend, our officials visited their homes,” Jha said.

“Additionally, we’ve been running a social media campaign to educate and spread awareness, encouraging voters to exercise their democratic rights on June 1,” he concluded. District Magistrate Shirsat and DDC Patna Tanai Sultaniya flagged off 67 voter awareness e-rickshaws from Gandhi Maidan to alleviate urban apathy. DM’s appeal to voters of Patna Sahib and Pataliputra parliamentary constituencies: “Come out and vote on June 1.”

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