Vote, and buy jewellery on discount

The axiom that people cannot resist the lure of discounts has reached a new level in Hailakandi district of Assam where people are going to get concessions on a range of products and services if they vote on the polling day - April 18.

Following an appeal by the District Election Officer Keerthi Jalli, various business houses of this south Assam district are offering discounts on jewellery, food and hospitality, and medicines.

Jewellery shops have announced a flat 15 per cent off on making charges, food outlets and hotels have offered discounts ranging from 10 to 15 per cent, while pharmacists announced 4 per cent concession on medicines to voters for exercising their franchise, officials said Tuesday.

The offers are up for grabs for two days - April 18 and 19 - for anyone who can show the indelible mark on their index finger, the proof that they had voted.

Hailakandi falls under Silchar Lok Sabha constituency.

Jalli said the initiative has been taken by the district administration in collaboration with local merchants associations to attract voters, especially urban voters who usually show less interest in voting compared to their rural counterparts.

The DEO thanked the merchants' association, drugs dealers, owners of food outlets, hotels and jewellery shops for coming forward to offer discounts to voters.

"In sync with our motto of celebrating the election as a festival, this is an unique initiative," said Jalli.

"We are very happy that the associations have come forward and matched our enthusiasm. We request all to go out and vote on April 18 and make use of this unique opportunity", said Tridip Roy, the SVEEP and Media Cell Officer-in-charge in the district.

SVEEP (Systematic Voters' Education and Electoral Participation programme) is the flagship programme of the Election Commission for voter education, spreading voter awareness and promoting voter literacy in India.

The district administration has taken a slew of initiatives to ensure cent per cent voting, including distribution of sanitary napkins free of cost to woo women voters, the sources said.

Lok Sabha polls will be be held in Assam in three phases on April 11, 18 and 23.