Election Commission Calls for Clean Municipal Polls

Karnataka State Election Commission is introducing several hi-tech gadgets in the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) polls on Saturday. Leading among them would be a tablet based election monitoring system to be introduced in 20 polling stations. This will be the first time in the country in local body polls; It was implemented only in Haryana and Rajasthan assembly elections earlier.

Clean polls seems to be the mantra for the Bengaluru municipal elections to be held on Saturday.

Bengaluru: From streaming videos from sensitive polling booths onto a cloud platform to real-time monitoring through mobile based applications, this year’s municipal elections to decide who will run Bengaluru will be perfectly in tune with the city’s reputation as India’s information technology (IT) hub.

The commission is yet to take a call on whether to make the live streaming public, but it will be available for all the election officials. The system was developed by Karnataka State Electronics Development Corp. Ltd through Nichepro Technologies with VMukti Technologies being the system provider.

“We will use tabs to continuously stream videos live from 20 sensitive booths to a cloud based platform. We are taking it up on a pilot basis so there is no payment involved,” said Suresh Bhat, spokesperson for the state information technology department. Technology will have a crucial role to play in the whole election process.

For the first time, the State Election Commission will be deploying hi-tech gadgets for remote surveillance across 20 sensitive and hypersensitive polling booths in the 198 member Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike polls, when 71.22 lakh voters will decide the destiny of the IT city.

The smart tab-based election monitoring system, to be run on a pilot basis in Mahadevpura Assembly constituency, will be installed and implemented through KEONICS. "The smart-tab system will not interfere in the poll process or affect the spirit of secret ballot," said State Election Commission office.

The new system was implemented during the Assembly elections in Haryana and Rajasthan and Parliamentary elections in Diu and Daman, said SEC sources.

While citizen groups have been calling upon voters to put an end to the cash-for-vote menace, political parties have administered 'honesty oath' to their candidates.  However, the police continue to confiscate sarees, household items, and cash meant for distribution among the voters.

To escape the law and in the hope that minors would be spared of prosecution, political parties have roped in children to distribute goodies and cash. As civic activists point out, the political parties with their focus on 'winnability' alone, have fielded candidates with criminal backgrounds.

The absence of NOTA option in the EVM has also annoyed the disgruntled citizen.

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Categories: Elections

Tags: election pool booth monitoring, live webcast