To get symbols on Saturday; DK to live stream from 247 polling booths

The stage has been set for the April 17 elections to Dakshina Kannada and Udupi-Chikmagalur Lok Sabha constituencies with the nominations filed by all the 31 contenders being found valid on Thursday.

Nominees could withdraw their nominations till 3 p.m. on Saturday. Those who remain in the fray will be allotted symbols at 4 p.m. on Saturday, said Returning Officer of Dakshina Kannada A.B. Ibrahim. Seventeen contenders in Dakshina Kannada parliamentary seat and 14 in Udupi-Chikmagalur seat filed papers.

Addressing presspersons here on Thursday, the Additional Returning Officer B. Sadashiva Prabhu said that the Election Commission is expected to upload the final voters’ list on its website Saturday evening. Earlier Mr. Prabhu had said the final voters’ list would be available on the website from Thursday. “It was an error on my part,” he said. Mr. Ibrahim, also the Deputy Commissioner, said that the officials would start distributing the voters’ slips at least five days ahead of April 17.

They would take the acknowledgement (signature) from voters. He said that production of voters’ slip at the polling station on the polling day was not a must. Referring to people at two places on the outskirts of the city threatening to boycott the polls, the Deputy Commissioner said that efforts would be made to convince them to withdraw their decision and exercise their franchise.

The Assistant Commissioner would visit the places and if required “I (the Deputy Commissioner) will visit,” he said.

Muddu Mohan, Returning Officer of Udupi-Chikmagalur constituency, said that the nomination papers of K. Jayaprakash Hegde (Congress), Shobha Karandlaje (BJP), V. Dhananjaya Kumar [Janata Dal (Secular)], S. Vijaya Kumar (CPI), Zakeer Hussain (BSP), C.J. Jagannath [Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Red Star], V. Dhanajaya, M.D. Mainuddin, Manjunath G., Srikanth B. Acharya, Srinivas, Sudhir Kanchan, Sundar Kumar (all independent candidates) were fin order.

Web casting

Mr. Ibrahim said that live webcasting would be done from 247 polling stations in the Dakshina Kannada constituency with the help of engineering students. Using this facility, polling activities in those stations could be monitored at the election control room here. He said 16 engineering colleges were part of the webcasting project, and a meeting would be held with representatives of all the institutions for finalising it.

The Deputy Commissioner said that the officials were working out if it was possible to have the live webcasting facility viewed by people on the internet.

If people see some disabled persons, senior citizens casting vote, it could inspire them cast their vote, too. It could also help voters to see if there was heavy rush and when they should turn up for voting.

192 hyper-sensitive booths

Dakshina Kannada Lok Sabha constituency has 192 hyper sensitive booths and 424 sensitive booths, said Returning Officer A.B. Ibrahim. The polling stations are classified so going by the previous records of incidents at those polling stations like violence, re-polling, abnormal percentage of voting and the like.

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