Digitisation hits another roadblock owing to polls

Digitisation hits another roadblock owing to polls

EC requested to extend digitisation till polls are over, says DC

Digitisation of television in Mysore has stumbled across another hurdle as a few candidates have complained to the district administration that voters are being wooed with promises of set-top boxes.

Digitisation was earlier mandated to be completed by March 31, 2013, but was delayed as cable operators of the city had moved court, seeking a stay into the process. However, High Court had ruled in favour of compulsory digitisation recently.

M K Somashekar, Congress candidate for Krishnaraja constituency had complained to the election authorities of the district, alleging that Medical Education S A Ramdas was wooing the voters of the constituency by promising set-top boxes, necessary for digitisation.

Following the complaints, Deputy Commissioner C Shikha said that she has written to the Election Commission to extend the date for digitisation. “We have requested the Commission to communicate to the concerned department to extend the digitisation process, keeping Assembly elections in mind,” she said.

Directions have also been sent to the officials from Commercial Taxes Department to investigate the complaints. The officials will deduce whether the allegations are true after verifying the sales of set-top boxes, which are being provided by three multi-system operators in the city. “Since only 40 per cent of television sets have been digitised in the city, there is a chance that candidates might influence voters using set-top boxes as bribes. Therefore, we have written to the commission to advance the digitisation process,” Shikha said.

On Thursday, 10 set top boxes allegedly meant for distribution among the voters were seized from a colony near Visvesvaraya Industrial suburb that comes under Krishnaraja constituency.

According to the deputy commissioner, it was too early to ascertain which party the boxes belonged to.

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