Measures have been taken to ensure that the Assembly polls on May 5 are held in a free and fair manner, said P. Hemalatha, Deputy Commissioner, Bangalore Rural district.
Speaking to presspersons in Bangalore on Friday, she said elections will be held in 999 polling stations, including nine auxiliary stations. Of these, 244 have been classified as hypersensitive and 286 as sensitive.
“Cameras will be installed in the sensitive and hypersensitive stations and we’re arranging for a direct relay on the Internet,” she said.
Some polling stations have been identified as ‘critical’ based on some criteria. For instance, if a candidate has secured 75 per cent of votes polled, and if there are many voters without the EPIC (electoral photo identity card), where the turnout is more than 90 per cent, such polling stations have been identified as critical.
Ms. Hemalatha said at the end of the summary revision (January 2013), there were 7.06 lakh voters in the district. The returning officers will distribute voters’ slips to all households a few days ahead of the elections.
“We have also taken up the SVEEP (Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation) campaign to get more voters to exercise their franchise. We have roped in anganwadi and ASHA workers to create awareness, besides distributing voters’ pledge to students to pressure their parents to go out and vote.”
To monitor the implementation of model code of conduct, 17 each of flying squads, static surveillance teams and video surveillance teams have been formed. Video viewing teams have been formed at each hobli.
Bangalore Rural district, which has four Assembly constituencies — Hoskote, Devanahalli, Doddaballapur and Nelamangala — has two election expenditure observers, four general observers, and one police observer. Each constituency will have one general observer, while there will be one expenditure observer for two constituencies. As many as 470 micro observers will be assigned to the “critical” polling stations.
So far, around 80 complaints of model code of conduct violations have been received, of which 65 have been disposed of. The squads have seized Rs. 1.88 crore in cash, 25 quintals of rice and 352 quintals of food items in Nelamangala taluk; Rs. 35 lakh in cash and 150 saris in Doddaballapur taluk; 150 saris in Hoskote taluk and 30 quintals of rice in Devanahalli taluk. The squads have also been directed to monitor the movement of cash above Rs. 50,000.
Bangalore Rural Superintendent of Police Prakash D. said that adequate police bandobast was in place for the elections.