Palike, EC’s poll apps get thumbs down

Palike, EC’s poll apps get thumbs down

The poll-related apps released by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike and the Election Commission to augment voter registration and report violations of the model code of conduct have failed to gain much traction.

The Palike and the poll panel released four apps in all — Model Code of Conduct (MCC) reporting app; Election Quiz (EQ) app to check the citizens’ ‘election quotient’; Election Directory app with contact details of 500 city officials; and VTrack app.

Downloaded many times

Since April, when the MCC reporting app (enabling citizens to report on officials acting in breach of the poll code) was released, it had been downloaded a mere 500 times. Response for the EQ and VTrack apps was even poorer, with just 100 downloads.

Former BBMP commissioner and district electoral officer N Manjunath Prasad, who was instrumental in launching these apps, said while the downloads are averaging about 200 right now, their use would pick up in the days to come.

“We’ve held various campaigns to exhort the public to use the apps,” said BBMP special commissioner Manoj Rajan, responding to questions on the steps taken to get these apps to the people.

“These apps are interactive in nature. The VTrack app, for instance, tracks the vehicles of government officials and allows the public to monitor the poll personnel. Already, about 44 complaints have been registered via the app and we’re closely monitoring the complaints,” Rajan said.

The apps may not have been downloaded in larger numbers, but those who have used it offered positive feedback and regarded them user friendly, Rajan explained.

The only smartphone application that bucked the trend is the Chunavana app, which is packed with information on the May 12 Assembly elections. Since its release last week by the Election Commission, it has seen about 10,000 downloads on the Google Play Store. Apps aside, the BBMP and EC have held photo exhibitions and awareness camps in the city to spur the voters.