Voters’ Voice
A sustained campaign by Bharatiya Matdata Sangathan for voters’ awareness and Election Reforms in Delhi
With the objective of stirring voters for at least 95 per cent voting, the Bharatiya Matdata Sangathan (BMS) started its journey on January 14, 2015 from New Delhi. Though the major activities of the organisation focused on New Delhi and the national capital region, some individuals and associated organisations have started the activities in other states and major cities also. During the last four years, the BMS has been able to exhort not only the general voters for compulsory voting but also the policymakers and opinion leaders. Former Chief Election Commissioner Shri SY Quraishi, social activist Anna Hazare, founder of ADR Prof Jagdip Chhokar and Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha Shri Harivansh Narayan Singh have extended their support to the initiative by joining its various activities.
Former Chief Election Commissioner of India Shri SY Quraishi administering an oath to the Matdata Mitras of Bharatiya Matdata Sangathan in New Delhi 
“The BMS mainly works on five points. First, there must be at least 95 per cent polling in every election from Panchayat to Parliament and e-voting, as well as online election, should be permitted. Second, the recommendations of the Election Commission and the Law Commission should be implemented without delay and particularly criminalisation of politics should be curbed on urgent basis. Third, the public involvement in the democratic process should be enhanced not through agitations but through dialogue and cooperation. Fourth, there should be a regulatory mechanism for political parties, and fifth, the involvement of non-political persons should be increased in the Rajya Sabha at the central level and the Vidhan Parishads in states,” said Dr Rikhab Chand Jain, founder of the BMS while talking to Organiser.
To educate general voters, the BMS makes ‘Matdata Mitras’ who ensure that all the voters in their localities cast their votes on polling day. The ‘Matdata Mitras’ also help the people ensure their enrolment as voters and also get the voters identity cards. A good number of youth studying in various colleges of Delhi and Indraprastha Universities are working in Delhi as Matdata Mitras. Apart from it, the voters are educated through various other activities like street plays to cast their votes without fail. “We believe that democracy functions smoothly only when every citizen of the country is vigilant and is aware of his/her rights and duties. Hence, to be vigilant and making others vigilant is the responsibility of all,” said Dr Jain.
To motivate the individuals and organisations which are working for educating the voters and strengthening democracy, the BMS has started two awards, Matdata Mitra Puraskar and Loktantra Prahari Samman. Till now, Prof Jagdip Chhokar and senior advocate Shri Ashwini Upadhyaya have been honoured with these awards in the year 2017 and 2018 respectively. “We also appeal to the political parties to keep the nation first, keep the criminals away from their party and election and politics should be like playing a friendly match. We also appeal to the media houses to motivate the voters for compulsory voting on polling day. We are happy that all our activities have received a good response. Many media houses have now started stirring people to casting their vote. It is a good sign and we hope soon we will be able to ensure not hundred per cent, but at least 90 per cent polling in the country,” Dr Jain added.
Dr Jain, who is a leading industrialist of the country and chairman of TT Limited, further said: “Election Reforms are also direly needed. The Law Commission has submitted its report on election reforms some time back. The Election Commission has also given some suggestions in this regard. “We are constantly working to ensure that the government accepts the recommendations of the Law Commission and Election Commission,” Dr Jain added.