BENGALURU: Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Commissioner N Manjunatha Prasad, who is also election officer, on Thursday said that in the wake of the pandemic, senior citizens and physically challenged persons residing in RR Nagar Assembly constituency need not come to polling booths to cast their votes. Instead, a team of polling officials, along the police, will go to their doorstep asking them to cast their secret ballot in a sealed envelope.
This exercise will be carried out over three days starting Thursday. He said a list of such people has been prepared and there are around 488 elderly and 33 physically challenged people. They had requested that a special provision be made so that they do not miss out on their right to vote. Prasad explained that the entire process of casting the vote will be videographed and an acknowledgment will also be given to the voters.
Also, a list of Covid-19 patients, primary and secondary contacts and those who have given their samples for testing is also being prepared. They will be brought to the polling booth in ambulances to cast their vote. As of October 28, there are 317 from the constituency in hospital, 847 in home isolation and 18 in Covid Care Centres.
Prasad said, “The control room will call up the Covid patients and the others asking them if they want to cast their vote. If they agree, an ambulance with PPE will be sent to their doorstep at 3.30 pm. They will be brought to their designated polling booth and given time between 5 pm and 6 pm to cast their vote, after which they will be dropped back. There are already 30 ambulances in RR Nagar constituency.
On the day of voting, more ambulances from east, west and south zones will be deployed.” He said voters will be given a glove to be worn on the right hand and the indelible ink will be marked on the left hand. The body temperature of voters will be checked at the entry point and if a person has high temperature, he will be given a slip and sent back, asking him vote only between 5 pm and 6pm. So far, Rs 127 lakh in cash and 109 litres of liquor have been seized in the constituency for violation of the Model Code of Conduct.
The long weekend will have an impact on the voter turnout in RR Nagar constituency, more so because a holiday has ben declared for voters on Monday. The Election Commission officials and politicians are now worried that the long holiday of five days may lead to poor voter turnout.