Palike braces for Assembly elections

The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has made elaborate arrangements and is fully geared up to conduct free and fair elections to the Assembly on May 5.

Addressing mediapersons here on Wednesday, BBMP Commissioner Siddaiah, who is designated as the District Election Officer to hold elections in all the 28 constituencies in Bangalore, said there will be 7,258 polling booths, including 611 auxiliary polling stations for the convenience of the voters.

The BBMP has got permission from the Election Commission of India in this regard.
He said there will be 169 model code of conduct flying squads with approximately six squads in each Assembly constituency, 486 special executive magistrates, 46 static surveillance teams, 36 video surveillance teams and 29 video viewing teams for all the Assembly constituencies.

“The static surveillance teams will be deployed on all the roads leading to Bangalore to keep an eye on the goods entering the City. The teams will check the inflow of freebies, liquor and unaccounted cash from neighbouring districts and States,” said Siddaiah.

The static surveillance teams will comprise of an executive magistrate, an assistant sub-inspector, excise officers and at least four armed policemen.

Expenditure observers

Siddaiah said the Election Commission of India (ECI) has taken note of heavy expenditures made by the candidates in Karnataka.

It has appointed expenditure observers, besides general observers, to all the 28 constituencies of the City to monitor the same.

The observers, who are IAS and IPS officers from other states, will arrive in the City on April 26 and begin their work.

Facilities at booths

For the convenience of the voters, every booth will have drinking water facility and toilets.

Each booth will have a ramp for physically disabled and elderly persons. The BBMP has also sought ECI permission to allow assistants to the aid of visually disabled to cast votes.

The district election officer has rated 2,153 polling stations as sensitive and 1,782 as hyper-sensitive. “We will deploy half a section of the central para-military forces to the hyper-sensitive booths so that no mischief takes place,” said Siddaiah.

Smooth conduct

For the smooth conduct of the elections the City required the services of minimum 32,000 personnel. As a precautionary measure, the district election officer has decided to rope in 48,000 State and the Central  government officers and employees.

Dr Vishal, another district election officer, made it clear that the personnel on election duty will not be given any exemption unless the reasons cited are genuine.

“Election duty is non-negotiable unless it is genuine,” he added.

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