: The Mysore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) on Monday appealed to people to vote not just to exercise their right but also the choose the right candidates to usher in a clean and transparent administration in the State in the May 5 elections.

They urged industrialists, owners of commercial establishments and employees to mandatorily vote to elect deserving leaders, president of the MCCI Sudhakar Shetty said at a meeting of the traders and industrialists at a private hotel here. The votes of the members from the commerce and industry sector formed a substantial percentage in the State, and could prove crucial in deciding the right candidate, he said. The members pledged to vote during the elections.

India was a democratic country and in view of this, everyone ought to exercise their franchise. A holiday was being declared to enable people to cast votes but many chose to convert them into picnics, which was not correct, he said.

Mr. Shetty said voting amounted to exercising one’s social responsibility. Voting had been made mandatory in Australia since 1924. But, such a system did not exist in India, where voting was still a matter of choice. As a result, voting percentage had remained poor in many elections. Karnataka was relatively safe with regard to safety and security of voters during elections, unlike certain other States in the country.

Joint Director, Industries and Commerce, M. Shivashankar, in-charge Chief Executive Officer of the Mysore Zilla Panchayat Vasundharadevi addressed the gathering.