City has 1,600 critical polling booths

City has 1,600 critical polling booths

The Election Commission has declared more than 1,600 polling booths in the city as critical and which might require more deployment of security personnel and poll observers.

The move comes amid elaborate measures to ensure a good turnout in the city and reveals the poll panel’s anxiety over voters being discouraged by rising incidents of intimidation and violence.

Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) commissioner Manjunath Prasad, also the District Electoral Officer for Bengaluru Urban, and the police department has picked the critical booths based on the guidelines from the Election Commission. Previous records of violence and tussles were considered while shortlisting the booths.

“Booths with more than 75% voting and those recording lesser percentage have been considered,” Prasad said. “We’ve also identified booths with too many absentee voters (those not in town) as the situation could be misused.”

The critical booths will be managed by micro observers. Nearly 1,234 observers will be deployed on the polling day, 481 of them in Bangalore North, 371 in Bangalore Central and 382 in Bangalore South. “The micro observers are state government officials who directly report to the Election Commission. They have been trained to perform the duties,” Prasad said.

Webcasting on poll day 

Webcasting will happen from 477 booths, 242 in Bangalore North, 113 in Bangalore Central and 122 in Bangalore South. “Video from these polling booths will also be recorded during the entire (election) day,” Prasad said.

Karnataka State Armed Police Forces and Central Paramilitary Forces, who landed in Bengaluru on Saturday, will be deployed in all polling stations.