Soon after the Indian EC put up posters urging voters to select pro-development candidates and dump the criminal and the corrupt, the Commission has in another first, urged voters to ‘pledge’ that they will vote ethically in the coming general elections. The communique, written in Marathi for Maharashtra’s voters and in other regional languages for people from other states, asks voters to elect candidates who will ‘meet the aspirations of the people and the nation as a whole,’ emphasising that they should now look beyond narrow agendas. It also appeals to voters to cast their vote ‘without fail, without fear or greed, and without keeping caste, religion and creed considerations in mind’ and to ‘inspire and encourage friends and family members’ to vote in this fashion. The commission had already put up posters and banners urging people to vote for candidates who are pro-development and well-educated, and spurn those who will offer bribes, as such candidates are most likely to indulge in corruption in future. The posters say people should also know about the assets and liabilities of candidates before voting for them. The letter also states that electing a candidate is not merely a citizen’s right but his/her responsibility towards the nation.

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