Staff Correspondent

Some politicians believe in

getting more bang for their buck

Chitradurga: Take a photograph of your ballot paper as proof of who you voted for, and you will be “suitably compensated”.

Some politicians made use of cellphones during Friday’s polls to the Chitradurga City Municipal Council to ensure that those who said they voted for them actually did so. So clever voters could not “claim compensation” from all and sundry.

Agents of some candidates handed over a cellphone equipped with a camera to a voter before he entered the booth. The voter had to return the handset with a picture of his ballot paper as proof of having voted for a particular candidate, and he or she was “suitably compensated”.

The supporters of some candidates here are said to have come up with brainwave.

Guidelines

When contacted, a State Election Commission official told The Hindu that strict guidelines had been issued proscribing mobile phones being into the voting room, except by returning officers. However, there was no law to enforce the guidelines. “Since the use of mobile phones inside the booth is not considered an offence, no law to punish the offender exists,” he said.

But an IAS officer, who did not wish to be identified, said that if required a case against the offender could be booked under Section 128 (2) of the Representation of the People Act, which prescribes a prison sentence of three months. However, it had to be proved that the offence was committed with mala fide intention.

‘Law required’

A senior State Election Commission official said that a specific law should be framed to prevent such “imaginative schemes”.

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