Public campaigning for the elections to the Lok Sabha scheduled to be held on April 17 ended at 6 p.m. on Tuesday.

Speaking to presspersons, the Chief Electoral Officer Anil Kumar Jha said the sale or supply of liquor has been banned in all the 28 Lok Sabha constituencies for 48 hours till 6 p.m of Thursday. Security personnel, numbering around 60,000, and 25,000 other supporting staff have been directed to implement the ban on holding meetings and liquor sale/supply strictly.

It has also been made clear that candidates can take up door-to-door campaigning along with a few persons, without causing disturbance to others. “There should be no room for complaint by anybody, especially the residents,” he said. Political leaders are also barred from holding media conferences during the 48-hour period.

Essential services

It has also been conveyed to the managements of essential services such as Post and Telegraph, the Railways, Fire and Emergency Services and Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation and Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation, and hospitals in the private sector that employees should be given the opportunity to cast their franchise. Meanwhile, the KSRTC Staff and Workers’ Federation president H.V. Ananthasubba Rao said hundreds of drivers and conductors would be unable to vote.

He said the federation had written to the managements, which in turn wrote to the Election Commission, but there was ambiguity in the orders issued by the RTCs on facilitating workers to go to polling stations to vote, and how such an arrangements could be effectively implemented.

Mr. Jha made it clear that nobody, including the candidates, is allowed to conduct prayers or religious rituals inside the polling stations and use vermilion and agarbatti. The presiding officers, who are the custodians of the stations, have been empowered to send such people outside the premises.

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