Officials say false plaints regarding cash given to voters have also been received

The officials manning the toll-free number 1800 425 7027 to register complaints about violations of code of conduct in the Madurai constituency during the 16 Lok Sabha elections said on Sunday that they had so far received 193 complaints and queries.

The toll-free number began functioning at the election control room set up at the Collectorate here. Election officials at the control room said they received six to seven calls a day.

They said they worked in coordination with flying squads, static surveillance teams and police personnel.

Within 10 minutes of a complaint being registered, a flying squad or a surveillance team would be sent to the spot mentioned to verify the information.

Two flying squads had been working on three shifts a day for each Assembly segment, they noted.

With increasing awareness of the enforcement of the code of conduct, the officials had got many calls from the public who had spotted posters and flags promoting political parties and candidates. “We saw a spike in these calls whenever there were big political meetings in the constituency,” they pointed out.

The officials, however, said there had also been a number of false complaints about cash being distributed to voters. “The flying squads rushed to the spots mentioned by the callers only to find the information to be false,” they noted.

Apart from the public, political parties and candidates too had been registering complaints.

“We have recorded complaints by political parties accusing the ruling party of carrying out developmental works such as laying of roads and digging of borewells to woo the voters just before the election. We verify the government order issued for each work to make sure that it was commissioned before the date the code of conduct came into force,” a member of a static surveillance team said.

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