24/7 helpline to redress voters' grievances

The Election Commission of India (ECI) will open a toll free helpline (1950) to assist voters during the upcoming Assembly polls in the State.

S K Mendiratta, legal advisor, ECI on Saturday said any person, from any part of the State, can dial the helpline to register a complaint.

Illegal money transfer

The nature of complaint could be anything from a missing name in the voters’ list, illegal money transfer from the candidate contesting elections, breach of election code of conduct or any kind of electoral malpractices.

“We will set up a separate team to man the helpline that will function round the clock,” he said.

Mendiratta said as soon as the complaint is registered, the jurisdictional officers will be alerted.

Efforts will be made to ensure that action will be taken on the complaint within a specified time frame.

Feedback to voters

“We will also record the calls received on the helpline and note down the telephone numbers or the mobile numbers of the callers to inform them about the action initiated on their complaint. The helpline will come into effect around
the date when the elections are announced for the State,” he said.

The ECI official also said that the Commission has operated such helplines for several state elections held last year and the response has been good.

Apart from the helpline, the Commission will also provide voter identity slips at the doorsteps of the voters, on the eve of the polling day.

The slips will contain the voter’s name and number, polling timing and booth details. Booth-level officers of the Commission will monitor the exercise, he informed.

Security arrangements

To a question on when the elections were slotted for Karnataka, Mendiratta said the Commission was yet to discuss with the Home Ministry regarding the security arrangements to be made for the polls.

Once it was done, the dates would be announced, he added.

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