New Delhi: The Election Commission has made London Olympic medallists Saina Nehwal and MC Mary Kom as its "national icons" to help promote voter participation in polls. The poll body already has former President APJ Abdul Kalam and Indian cricket captain MS Dhoni as its other "national icons".
Sources in the Election Commission said 22-year-old Nehwal and Mary Kom, 29, who had won bronze medals in 2012 London games in badminton and boxing respectively, will help in increasing women participation during the forthcoming Gujarat Assembly elections next month.
Gujarat has a skewed sex ratio and women participation in polls has been also low. Nehwal has earlier been the EC's 'state icon' in Andhra Pradesh, but now has now been elevated as its 'national icon'. The Commission has been using the services of prominent personalities across the country to help increase voter awareness and participation in the country and fight the public apathy towards elections.
Kalam and Dhoni have earlier helped the poll body in its campaigns for increasing voter participation in polls.