The State Election Commission (SEC) has adopted an aerial approach to increase voter turnout for the elections to the Legislative Assembly.
It has employed the services of Nikolai Singh, a paraglider affiliated to the Meghalaya Paragliding Association. He will fly across Karnataka this month in a paramotor, a powered paraglider, while a crew member seated behind him will regularly drop pamphlets on voters’ rights and responsibilities and the importance of exercising one’s franchise. A banner will also be hung from the paramotor with a legend pertaining to voter participation. The paramotor can cover 150 kms in a span of three hours everyday, depending on the weather. It will fly low so that the banner is clearly visible.
The initiative was flagged off in Bangalore on April 7. “This method [of spreading awareness] was also employed during the Assembly elections in Meghalaya last year. The response there was very good; 96 per cent polling was registered,” Mr. Singh told The Hindu. Chief Electoral Officer Anil Kumar Jha invited us to hold this initiative in Karnataka, he added.
Mr. Singh felt that the campaign would have a better impact if they had been allotted at least two days to tour each district. “The next destination after Mysore will be Mandya, which will be followed by Ramanagaram. Hassan and Kodagu will be next, after which we will visit Dakshina Kannada and Udupi. I am to cover every district by April end,” he said.
Speaking to The Hindu, Deputy Director of Information A.R. Prakash said Deputy Commissioner and District Election Officer C. Shikha had flagged off the project at Mysore airport on Friday.