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Patna, Oct 8.Popular Bihar folk singer Sharda Sinha has been roped in by the Election Commission to spread awareness about the right to vote during the upcoming Bihar assembly elections.

Sharda Sinha has been appealing to voters on television in five different languages – Hindi, Bhojpuri, Magahi, Maithali and Angika – to exercise their voting rights in the elections.

‘Sharda Sinha’s 40-second to one-minute appeal to use the right to vote will be telecast on TV channels every day till the end of polls on Nov 20,’ an official told IANS Friday.

Sources in the State Election Commission said they hoped Sharda Sinha’s earthy voice would help increase the voter turnout.

Popularly known as Bihar Kokila, Sharda Sinha is a well-known face and voice across Bihar for the folk songs she sings during festivals like Durga Puja and Chhath.

Chief Election Commissioner S.Y. Qureshi, during his visit to the state to review the poll preparedness, had said that the Commission planned to rope in a popular personality to publicise voting rights like Indian cricket captain M.S. Dhoni had done for his home state Jharkhand.

Former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam is also likely to be the Election Commission’s brand ambassador in a bid to increase voter turnout in the Bihar assembly polls.

In the last assembly polls in 2005 in February and in November, voting percentages in Bihar were only 46 percent and 46.5 percent respectively.

Bihar will elect a 243-member assembly in staggered polling that begins Oct 21 and ends Nov 20. The results will be known Nov 24.


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