Shri Teeka RamMeena IAS, Chief Electoral Officer, Kerala,

Shri K. Jayakumar IAS (Retd), Director IMG,

Shri E. Sreedharan, Ex. CMD, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation,

Shri Jeevan Babu K. IAS, Joint Chief Electoral Officer,

Shri Surendran Pillai B., Additional Chief Electoral Officer,

Smt. K.S. Chithra, Famous Playback Singer,

Miss Tiffany Brar, Founder of Jyothirgamaya Foundation,

Shri Mathew T. Itty, Music Composer,

Priyappetta Sahodaree Sahodaranmare,

Madhyama Suhruthukkale,

Ellaavarkkum Ente Namaskaaram.


I am very happy to inaugurate this programme, which is convened to release the Theme Songand other promotional materials for the current Parliamentary General Election 2019.

Let me at the outset, compliment the Chief electoral Officer Shri Teekaram Meena IAS and his vibrant team for taking the initiative to produce a song and various messages and posters to motivate the people of our State to participate actively in the General elections to the Parliament.

I also congratulate noted playback singer Smt K.S. Chithra for the melodious rendition of the song and Shri K. Jayakumar, noted poet and former Chief Secretary for penning the meaningful lyric. Shri Mathew Itty deserves praise for setting the music.

In fact, I must appreciate the organizers for choosing Miss. Tiffany Brar to receive the CD of this motivational song at this meeting. Those who know her activities as a social worker and special educator would agree that Miss. Tiffany is motivation personified. And the presence of Dr. E. Sreedharan, India's Metro-man, adds to the grandeur of the occasion.

Our democracy is a marvel to the world in terms of size and vibrancy. There are many nations around us, with lesser population and fewer diversities. But, none of them has shown and sustained the power of the vote with greater dedication and faith than us. Thus, an election in our nation is certainly the greatest festival of democracy in the world.

As all of us know, the Election Commission of India has made SVEEP the buzz-word in this election. SVEEP, which stands for Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation, is the Commission's flagship program for voter education, spreading voter awareness and promoting voter literacy in our country.

Since 2009, the Election commission has been preparing India’s voters and equipping them with basic knowledge related to the electoral process. Apart from familiarizing people with Electronic Voting Machines the Commission has been seeking support of citizens to check the violation of model code of conduct through the C-Vigil mobile app and conducting various programmes to build a truly participative democracy through the citizens' informed decision.

The effect is visible in the rising percentage of participation in the elections. If I recall correctly, in the 2014 elections, we had a poll percentage of 74.02 and this time, we hope to take it much higher. In Kerala, it merits mention that women voters were ahead of men in casting votes and over 51 percent of Booth Level officers in the last election were women. Many such encouraging details, mentioned in a recent election analysis of the Press Information Bureau, point to the increasing interest and participation in the electoral process. Equally laudable are the efforts to ensure green protocol in the elections.

In fact, as a former judge of Supreme Court of India who gave the verdict on NOTA and Paper Trail, I am happy that Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail [VVPAT] is being implemented in all polling stations for the first time in Kerala.  What adds to my joy is that the election is guided by the theme of Accessible Elections, to ensure that people with disabilities get a barrier-free environment to vote.

As I mentioned earlier, voting is a citizen's duty. Our Vote is a means of change and an expression of our expectations about governance. We also have an obligation to see that people around us also perform this duty. I have been asking everyone around me whether they have checked the Voters' List and ensured that their names are included. In fact as soon as           I assumed office as the 1st citizen of this State, myself and my wife transferred our names from Chennai to Trivandrum. In the last Assembly election, we had made it a point to cast our vote in Kerala. Before the cutoff date this time also, I verified our names in the current voters’ list.

Whatever be the positions we hold in society, our position as a citizen remains higher and we are duty-bound to honour that status by being active participants in the process of democracy. We must see an election as an opportunity to exercise the citizen's power to lead a Democracy forward.

I hope the Song, the posters and other materials we are releasing today would be well received by our voters. I am certain that all those who are involved in this work would deem it a rare privilege to have employed their talent to strengthen the largest democracy in the world. I once again appreciate each of them for their dedicated efforts.

I also compliment the organizers for conducting this function in a befitting manner.

Ellavarkkum Ente Aashamsakal


Jai Hind