BENGALURU:The state chief electoral office conducted a special drive called Minchina Nondani (quick registration) for new voters and voter information correction on Sunday. This drive was to take place across all designated poll stations in the state. The one-day camp was organised from 10 am to 5 pm.
The drive, however, saw mixed responses from citizens across the city. While some in Bellandur and Chickpet complained that the polling booths were either closed or were opened late, booths in other parts of the city like Whitefield, Seegehalli, and Malleswaram ran smoothly.
Sonali Singh, convener of a citizen group called Helping Hands, said, “There weren’t enough officials in most of the places. The drive fizzled out in most places and the forms were being collected only in the BBMP main office. The residents waited and nobody seemed to be aware. They were called to the BBMP main office finally.”
Uday Simha, a voter in Chickpet constituency visited Crescent School to get his daughter-in-law Ramya enroled in the constituency but to no avail. “My son recently got married. We wanted to get Ramya enroled. We waited till 10.20 am and left. Later, the Assistant Electoral Registration Officer spoke to us over the phone very rudely,” he said.
Each booth is supposed to be manned by at least one BBMP staff. Because of the shortage of staff, in many places the booths were merged and the revenue inspectors and tax inspectors worked as Booth Level Officers (BLOs). BLOs said that due to an SC order they could not use the services of government teachers for election duties and had to rely on NGO volunteers, ASHAs and Anganwadi workers.
Venkatesh IM, BBMP Revenue Inspector posted in Thubarahalli Government Primary School as BLO said, “The police inspector came and instructed us to check the veracity of Aadhaar cards and rental agreements to prevent misuse and fraud,” he added.