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In less than a month, the voting for the first phase of the 2019 Lok Sabha election will commence.

Voting is among our prime duties.

A vote signifies the willingness to contribute to the development trajectory of the nation. By voting, people connect themselves with the country’s dreams and aspirations.

Let us create an environment where getting one’s voter card and casting a vote, especially for the first time, become occasions for celebration.

There should also be an environment where not voting causes great anguish.

Would you want a situation where something happens in the country that you disapprove of and you are forced to think - because I did not go vote that day, this unfortunate situation has arisen and the nation is suffering.

Spare yourself from that regret and go vote!

Today, I have the following requests to you all-

(1) Register now:

Give your voter card a place of pride in your life.

Get registered as voters, (if you have not already) at the earliest.

You can apply either online, on www.nvsp.in, or through the BLOs of your respective polling stations or at the electoral registration office.

The 2019 elections are special because for the first time those born in the 21st century will be able to cast their votes. I hope all eligible youngsters who have not registered to vote will do so and enrich our democracy by voting.

(2) Check thoroughly:

Revisit the electoral rolls and check whether your name is there.

Visit the websites of your respective state election offices and check the electoral rolls.

If your name is missing, raise it with the relevant authorities and if you have shifted residence, ensure that your name shifts to the voter rolls of your new place of stay.

Updating of rolls will continue till the last day of filing of nominations in your particular constituency. However, do not wait for the last moments and so, the earlier, the better.

(3) Plan well:

The poll schedule is already out, giving you ample time to plan your summer schedule. Try to be there on the day of voting. If you are planning a summer holiday, plan it before or after the polling date.

If for some reason, your place of work and place of vote differ, make the effort to go and vote. Take that one day off for the future of our  nation!

(4) Mobilise others:

Call upon your family, friends and colleagues to vote.

Motivate and, if need be, force them to venture out  and exercise their franchise on polling day.

Higher voting means a stronger democracy and a stronger democracy means a developed India!

The last few elections, in various states and at the Centre, have witnessed record turnout.

Continuing this encouraging trend, I urge my fellow Indians to vote in record numbers in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

I particularly call upon influencers from all fields, including politics, industry, sports, films and other walks of life to take the lead in spreading voter awareness and value of high voting.

May these elections witness the highest ever turnout in the history of Indian elections!

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Remembering Dr. Lohia
March 26, 2019
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Today is a day to honour revolutionaries.

We pay tributes to great sons of Mother India - Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru for their ultimate sacrifice.

We bow to a prolific thinker, exceptional intellectual, revolutionary and devout patriot, Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia on his Jayanti.

Dr. Lohia combined a sharp mind and a penchant for mass politics.

When top leaders were arrested during the Quit India movement, a young Dr. Lohia remained unfazed, went underground and even started an underground radio station to further the movement.

In the history of Goa’s liberation, the name of Dr. Lohia is etched in golden letters.

Wherever the marginalised needed a voice, Dr. Lohia was there.

Dr. Lohia’s thoughts inspire us. He wrote about modernising agriculture and empowering farmers, which the NDA Government is effectively doing through efforts such as PM Kisan Samman Nidhi, Krishi Sinchai Yojana, e-Nam, Soil Health Cards and more.

Nothing pained Dr. Lohia more than the caste hierarchy and inequality between women and men. Our Mantra of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’ as well as our track record in the last five years show that we have made a long-lasting contribution in fulfilling the vision of Dr. Lohia. He would surely have been very proud of the NDA Government’s work.

Whenever Dr. Lohia spoke, inside or outside Parliament, the Congress trembled with fear.

Dr. Lohia knew how disastrous Congress was. In 1962 he said, “During the Congress regime neither agriculture and industry nor the army has improved.”

These words can accurately describe even subsequent Congress regimes, where farmers were harassed, industry was discouraged (except if they belonged to friends and relatives of Congress leaders) and national security was ignored.

Anti-Congressism was Dr. Lohia’s heart and soul. His efforts ensured a shock to the then all-powerful Congress in 1967 elections. That time, Atal Ji remarked- “Due to Dr. Lohia’s efforts, one could travel on board the Howrah-Amritsar Mail without having to pass a single Congress state!”

Unfortunately, today Dr. Lohia would be horrified at the political developments taking place.

Those parties that claim inspiration from Dr. Lohia have completely abandoned his principles. They are leaving no opportunity to insult him.

The veteran socialist leader from Odisha, Shri Surendranath Dwivedy remarked, “He (Dr. Lohia) was imprisoned many times more during Congress regime than under the British rule.”

Yet, today those parties that falsely claim to be Dr. Lohia’s followers are desperate to form an opportunistic Maha Milawat or adulteration alliances with the same Congress. It is both ironical and reprehensible.

Dr. Lohia always believed that dynastic politics was inimical to democracy. He would have been flabbergasted to see his ‘followers’ think about their own families first instead of the nation.

Dr. Lohia stated that one who works with ‘Samta’, ‘Samanata’ and ‘Samatva Bhaav’ is a Yogi. Sadly, the parties that claim to be his followers forgot this principle. They believe in ‘Satta’, ‘Swarth’ and ‘Shoshan.’ These parties are experts at grabbing power, looting as much as possible and exploiting others. Poor people, Tribals, Dalits, OBCs and women are not safe in their rule because these parties give a free run to criminals and anti-social elements.

In his works, Dr. Lohia called for complete equality between men and women. But, neck deep in vote bank politics, it was parties that dishonestly claim to be Dr. Lohia’s followers that opposed the NDA Government’s move to abolish the inhuman practice of Triple Talaq.

Is the commitment to vote bank politics bigger than the commitment to Dr. Lohia’s thoughts?

Today, a moot question facing 130 crore Indians is:

How can those who betrayed Dr. Lohia be expected to serve the nation?

Today they are betraying the principles of Dr. Lohia, tomorrow they will also betray the people of India.