CEO appeals to voters to exercise their franchise

With just two days to go for assembly elections, Chief Election Officer (CEO), Karnataka, Anil Kumar Jha today appealed to the voters to participate in the election process and vote in large numbers.

Thanks to public awareness programme initiated by the Election Commission, 13-14 lakh voters have been added in Bangalore, Jha told reporters here. Campaigning ends at 5 pm today and after this deadline no procession or party function wold be allowed. Model code of conduct which has been in force since March 20 will be operational till May 8, the day of counting, he said, adding, nearly 2.5 lakh polling officers will be deployed across 68,000 polling booths in the state which will have 34 counting centres including four in Bangalore.

He said adequate security would be provided by the state as well as the central police force to ensure smooth polls. "The last 48 hours before the polls are crucial and we have to be more vigilant. We have asked flying squads, police,videography teams, Deputy Commissioners and Superintendents of Police to take whatever preventive action they can take", Jha said.

To a question, Jha said illegal liquor worth over Rs five crore has been seized in the state so far and 2,500 cases have been booked, half of which are police cases. "only at the stage of conviction, question of taking action against the culprits will arise", he said. On poll expenditure, he said Rs 200 crore was sought from the state government by the Election Commission "which was sanctioned and out of this Rs 175-180 crore may be spent on elections".

The CEO made it clear that there can be no exit poll on the date of poll. Any analysis in the preceding 48 hours is an offence under the Representation of People's Act. Voters slips are being distrubuted in a speedy manner and this process will be completed by tomorrow. Election Commission from its side will have a kiosk near each polling booth in case the voters have any problems, Jha said.

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