For this year’s Assembly polls, expenses are expected to almost triple since the last elections in 2008. A sum of Rs. 200 crore will be spent on conducting elections to the State Legislative Assembly on May 5, in contrast to the Rs. 70 crore spent in 2008.

Chief Electoral Officer Anil Kumar Jha told presspersons here on Tuesday that the State government would bear the entire cost, and it has already released Rs. 100 crore. “We sought Rs. 200 crore from the State government; we will spend about Rs. 180 crore to Rs. 200 crore,” the CEO said.

The State has procured sufficient number of EVMs from Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Bihar to conduct the polls, said officials at the CEO’s office.

About Rs. 2.5 lakh will be spent on each constituency to create awareness on enrolment of names in the voters’ list and taking up the Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) plan.

A total of 50,446 polling booths will be established across the State. The increase in poll expenditure is due to increase in the number of observers, who will arrive in the State after April 10, to monitor the election campaign.

Steps have been taken to increase the percentage of voters to the population from present 62 to 65 in Bangalore. Already, 3.02 lakh applications have been received since January 20, 2013, in the city and nearly 60 per cent of them have been cleared.

Mr. Jha said he held a meeting with Excise Department officials asking them to prevent illegal transportation of liquor and manufacturing of spurious liquor in districts.

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