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naji — Pink teddy bears may well have a justified a slot on the altar of participatory democracy.

According to the state's top poll official, Kunal, a unique experiment conducted during the February 4 state assembly elections, which involved giving away 600 teddy bears to first-time women voters across Goa, had paid dividends.

The snuggly teddy bears were given to the early-visiting first-time voters in over 40 model polling booths, one in each of the 40 assembly constituencies in Goa, which went to poll on Saturday.

"As a trend, our pink polling stations got two per cent more voting than the average polling rate in all the other regular polling booths. People received the idea well," Kunal said.
Incidentally, first-time male voters also received a gift of appreciation, although much less snuggly, in form of a pen.

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