The Election Commission of India officially announced actor Rajkummar Rao as its 'National Icon' on Thursday to promote voter education and turnout.
The actor signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the poll body at Akashvani Bhawan in the national capital today.
Sharing his excitement for the new responsibility, Rao told ANI, "It's a big responsibility. It's a huge honour. I'm very, very honoured to be honest. I'm very touched. And of course, now it's a responsibility to motivate people, especially our youth to come out and vote. It's one of the most important aspects of democracy. So it's very important for all of us to go out and cast our vote...A lot of things are in plan (to make that happen)."
Earlier, speaking at the event, Chief Election Commissioner of India, Rajiv Kumar said, "Once you become a judge in democracy by voting and in the electoral process, this passion will come in your actions also. You will understand the power of democracy."
"Today, the participation of our women in voting is more than that of men. Certainly more in at least 20 states. You (Rajkummar Rao) have shot in the area of Chhattisgarh, where the people are very low on the Human Development Index. There are also a few vulnerable tribal groups, which are a total of 75 in the country. We have made a difference because this is part of making the entire electoral roll inclusive and participatory. We will include all the Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG) as voters," Kumar said.
The Chief Electoral Officer said that elections are scheduled in 5 states and the poll body has registered 100 per cent of voters in these states. "It is necessary for all young persons to immediately get into the habit of voting," Rajiv Kumar added.
Five states- Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram- will go to polls on different days from November 7-30, while the counting of the votes in these five states is scheduled on December 3. These elections will set the stage for the semi-final of the 2024 general election.