Voter helpline flooded with plaints, queries

After the announcement of Lok Sabha elections, the control room of Voter Helpline-1950 in Dakshina Kannada district has received 2,365 calls.

The public had been calling up the helpline number to complain about violation of model code of conduct, seeking clarifications on inclusion of names in the electoral roll, information on elections and also a few suggestions to improve the system.

Even in Udupi, the control room had been receiving a minimum of 35 to 40 calls daily.

In the past, the control room was receiving four to five phone calls. It functions round-the-clock with four personnel working in two shifts.

There are four phones at the control room in Udupi. A majority of the calls in Udupi were related to Epic, sources said. The control room also receives calls seeking information on polling booths.

In Dakshina Kannada, out of 2,365 phone calls, 2,240 calls were pertaining to details on Epic, polling booth and so on. As many as 125 complaints had been attended by the officials, sources said.

cVigil app

As many as 28 complaints on violation of model code of conduct had been registered through cVigil application in Dakshina Kannada district. The cVIGIL mobile application, was released by the Election Commission of India (ECI) for the first time in the upcoming Lok Sabha election. While in Udupi, 48 complaints had been registered through the app.

“As the campaign intensifies, the number of violations are likely to increase and the public can utilise the app for submitting complaints,” said Manjunath Shetty, an officer from Udupi.  

The application can be easily downloaded on the mobile phones and enables the public to report violations related to model code of conduct by candidate anonymously. It uses location data and allows the user to post complaint along with the photographs and videos.

According to ECI norms, a complaint reported through the application must be redressed by the District Control Room at the earliest and the details about the action taken should be sent to the user’s mobile within 100 minutes. The public can complain about distribution of cash, liquor, or on provocative speeches, paid news, issue of threat and damage to properties through cVigil app.

The public can also complain against political parties and candidates on the violation of model code of conduct.

According to Udupi Deputy Commissioner Hephsiba Rani Korlapati complaints had been registered against Udupi-Chikmagalur BJP candidate Shobha Karandlaje and Udupi MLA Raghupathi Bhat and other party workers for campaigning without taking prior permission at Brahmavar police station on March 31.

Clarification had been sought from Independent candidate Amrith Shenoy for raising donations from the public and also from Rooman Technologies for violation of code of conduct during a training programme on Prime Minister skill training on March 28, she said.

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