To oversee the conduct of the elections in the 28 Assembly constituencies coming under the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) limits, as many as 31,935 government officials will be posted on poll duty. However, many of these have been sending applications seeking exemption from poll duty to the office of the District Election Officer.
Additional District Election Officer Vishal R. told reporters here around 100 to 150 such applications had been received. Stating that election duty was non-negotiable, he said that exemptions will be a rarity and will be given only to genuine cases. “Some applicants have cited reasons ranging from weddings (their own or of their children), pregnancy and health issues such as diabetes, spondylitis, cardiac problems and cancer.”
Mr. Vishal said poll duty notices were already being sent and the officials will undergo three rounds of training, on April 22, April 28 and on May 4.
District Election Officer and BBMP Commissioner Siddaiah said that efforts were being made to provide security and adequate facilities such as toilets, drinking water, ramps for persons with disabilities at all the 7,258 polling stations across the city. “The jurisdictional additional commissioners, executive engineers and assistant executive engineers are overseeing this work, which will be completed by April 25.”
Of the 7,258 polling stations, 2,153 have been identified as sensitive and 1,782 as hypersensitive. The latter will be manned by the central paramilitary forces.
Some 169 model flying squads have been constituted to monitor code-of-conduct violations. Each Assembly constituency would be assigned six squads, each comprising an executive magistrate, an assistant sub-inspector (ASI), three or four armed police constables and a videographer. Apart from these squads, static surveillance teams have also been stationed on all major highways leading out of the city. These static teams comprise an executive magistrate, an ASI, personnel from the Excise Department and a videographer. The videos taken by the 36 surveillance teams will be reviewed by the teams constituted in all 28 Assembly constituencies.
Mr. Siddaiah said over the past two-and-half months, around 13 lakh voters have been added on the electoral rolls taking the total number to 70.32 lakh. With this, the electoral population ratio has gone up from 61.41 per cent to 67.58 per cent. This, he claimed, was the highest in the country.