Many do their bit to draw voters to polling booths

The poster of Vishnu Bhavan hotel, offering free Mysuru masala dosa to first-time voters in Mysuru.

In an effort to encourage voting, some individuals and establishments offered incentives to first-time voters and also to other voters. Many people have done their mite to create awareness on compulsory voting on social media and also via traditional communication.

Vishnu Bhavan, on Bengaluru-Ooty Road, opposite Sub-Urban Bus Stand, had announced an offer of a free Mysuru masala dosa to first-time voters on Saturday. The proprietor of Vishnu Bhavan C Narayanagowda, also president of Mysuru Hotel Owners’ Association, said, “All those who have completed 18 years of age and those who have exercised their vote for the first-time can savour a tasty Mysuru masala dosa and cherish their first-time voting experience. Those who wish to avail the offer may walk into Hotel Vishnu Bhavan between 4.30 pm and 8 pm with a document for their age proof.”

“We do not know whether the candidates, in whose favour the youth have cast their vote, would win or not. Even if they win, there is no guarantee that the winner would be accessible to the voters later. But, the first-time voters can cherish their first vote with our dosa,” he said.

Noor Fathima, of Sthree Deepa organisation in N R Mohalla, was circulating the mobile numbers of the officials concerned in the Mysuru City Corporation, among her contacts. The officials were supposed to provide assistance to the people in case they face difficulty in finding their names in the voters’ list or if they faced difficulty in locating the polling booth, where they were supposed to cast their vote.

Many individuals were circulating messages appealing to their contacts to cast their votes without fail. Members of a few youth organisations were found greeting first-time voters with flowers. Incidentally, scion of the erstwhile royal family Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar is also the first-time voter as he was in college in the USA during the last elections.

Actor Nivedita Gowda, of Bigg Boss fame, the ambassador of SVEEP in Mysuru, cast her first vote at Rotary West School, Datagalli, under Chamaraja constituency on Saturday. Coincidentally, it was her birthday. Besides, Suma Rajkumar, a ventriloquist, who created awareness about voting under SVEEP programmes, also cast her vote at the Urdu School on Chamaraja Double Road, under Krishnaraja constituency.

Vasanthkumar Mysoremath, convenor of Voters Awareness Movement, expressed his happiness over the record polling average of 73.7% in Karnataka. He hoped that the people will improve the percentage in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Meanwhile, complaints galore from people as well as politicians. While one Lokesh, on behalf of MLA G T Devegowda of the JD(S) of Chamundeshwari Assembly constituency, complained that many people accompanied Chief Minister Siddaramaiah while he undertook door-to-door campaign on Friday, Siddaramaiah accused the JD(S) of distributing money to voters. Siddaramaiah is the Congress candidate in Chamundeshwari.

As per the model code of conduct, more than 10 persons are not allowed to accompany the candidate on the door-to-door campaign, 48 hours before the polling time. Only the candidate is allowed to undertake door-to-door campaign and a few supporters can accompany him.

Proxy voting?

In Krishnaraja constituency, there was a complaint about proxy voting. One Varalakshmi, a resident of Renukacharya Temple Road of Agrahara, under booth number 112, said, "When she went to vote, the officials told her that someone had already cast her vote." However, officials said that proxy voting is not possible as the officials allow voting only after ascertaining the identity of the person.

Umesh Kumar, secretary of district BJP, has complained to the Election Commission that there have been unauthorised entries under Narasimharaja constituency under the address of vacant sites.

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Many do their bit to draw voters to polling booths

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