Even as campaigning is about to shift to a higher gear, numerous complaints about the functioning of the control room that monitors violations, and lengthy procedures for permissions came forth at a meeting between representatives of the political parties and the district administration here on Saturday.
Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) representatives said they had called the control room (1077) at 10 a.m. over an unauthorised meeting by a political party. But they were asked to call up another official in Bantwal. “The squad returned our call only at 1 p.m., when everything was over,” said a member.
Deputy Commissioner A.B. Ibrahim promised to tighten the working of the control room.
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate M.R. Vasudeva complained that they had not been granted permission for using microphones in vehicles even after 15 days. The delay, the DC said, was due to a longer bureaucratic procedure where “any modification to the vehicle” needed to be approved by the Regional Transport Authority. He assured the parties that an RTA meeting would be held in a week to clear all permissions.
The parties also urged to have a centralised point for approval at the DC office.
There were complaints from the official side too. While the city police pulled up the AAP for late submission of forms and for not printing the publisher’s name and number of copies in their pamphlets, Mr. Ibrahim said a check on the accounts from the last assembly elections revealed that not even one candidate had exceeded even half the allotted expenditure. “This is unrealistic. Account books are not kept,” he said.