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Wheeling to world’s top poll station

Cycling expedition to Tashigang will cover 414 km in seven days

Wheeling to world’s top poll station

Chief Electoral Officer Maneesh Garg flags off the cycling expedition in Shimla on Tuesday. TRIBUNE PHOTO



Tribune News Service

Shimla, May 14

A cycling expedition aimed at creating awareness among the voters was flagged off by Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Maneesh Garg from the historic Ridge today. Starting from Shimla, the expedition will culminate on May 20 at Tashigang, the world’s highest polling station, set up at an altitude 15,256 feet in Kinnaur district.

Six cyclists are participating in this cycling rally, out of which state election icon Jaspreet Paul and his team member Kshitij will go from Shimla to Tashigang, while four other cyclists will be a part of this expedition till Narkanda. The expedition will go to Tashigang via Theog, Narkanda, Rampur, Reckong Peo, Nako, Kaza, Kaumik and Hikkim.

The cyclists will also pay tributes to Shyam Saran Negi, who was the first voter of India, on May 16 in Kalpa.

During the occasion, the CEO said this seven-day cycling expedition from Shimla to Tashigang would create awareness among voters, especially first-timers.

“The main objective of this event is to ensure participation of maximum people in this election. In view of the Lok Sabha and Assembly byelections in the state, participation of all eligible voters is very important,” he said.

The CEO said the distance between Shimla and Kaza is 414 km, which also coincides with the Election Department’s ‘mission 414’ Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) programme.

“This mission is aimed at increasing voting percentage at 414 polling stations, where the voting percentage was low in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections,” he added.

“This time nearly 3 per cent of the total voters in the electoral rolls would exercise their franchise for the first time and this expedition would go a long way in engaging and sensitising the youth about their right to vote,” said Garg.

He added that the Election Department was organising various types of events from time to time with the aim of making people aware about voting. In this series, a plan has been prepared to organise cycling rallies in nine districts on May 25 and 26.

“The participation of youth will be ensured in these rallies to increase the voting percentage,” said the CEO.

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