Poll date amid long weekends

Voters in dilemma as election day is sandwiched between holidays

Poll date amid long weekends

 The election date in the State is sandwiched between two long holiday weekends, giving those hoping for a good turnout the jitters. 

While the BJP did petition the Election Commission on rescheduling the election date, the latter has not replied.

April 17 comes in between two series of government holidays, a certain delight for backpackers. That they are bang in the middle of the summer vacations for schools is all the more reason for families to plan tours. 

The election date is between two extended weekends. The first includes April 12 which is a second Saturday, Mahaveera Jayanti (April 13), Ambedkar Jayanti (April 14) and Souramana Ugadi (April 15, restricted holiday). The next weekend starts on April 18, which is Good Friday.

 The election day is declared as a holiday for both government employees and the private sector. 

Taking leave on April 16 gives more than a week’s break for all those looking to take a long break. 

B Jayanthi, manager of Sri Sathya Sai Tourists, says that enquiries for tour packages have definitely increased as people normally plan at least 15 days advance. 

Tour packages

“Besides holiday packages, we offer cabs on rent for private holidays. Although booking has just started now, the number of people calling to enquire for bookings in the third week of the month has increased considerably,” she said. 

According to Srishanth from Yatra.com, the demand for holiday packages normally increases during summer vacation when schools close after exams. 

“Exams are still going on in some schools. We are expecting a hike in the bookings thereafter. Election or no election, people will venture out,” he said.

The government-run Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC), which offers holistic tour packages, has also started receiving many calls. According to an official from the KSTDC, during summer, there is a sudden increase in bookings. With two extended weekends not far apart, it is natural for people to plan holidays. But many are having second thoughts due to the election date, he said.

Narayanachar had planned his trip to the holy City of Varanasi two months ago, when he did not know that it would coincide with the election date in Bangalore. He tried to reschedule his trip with the Airline. Since he had to shell out almost double for the rescheduled trip, he has planned to give voting a miss. 

“I have been watching all the election news very closely and wanted to vote this time. Unfortunately, I will be away and will miss voting,” he said. 

Normally, the State’s Chief Electoral Officer is the one who chooses the poll date for the State and April 17 was the one recommended to the Election Commission of India. So, the question of changing the date is ruled out, sources said.

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