Bengaluru, April 14, 2019: On polling day, it is to be noted that mobile phones will not be allowed within a 100-meter radius of polling stations across Bengaluru. If any voter is found carrying mobile phone inside the booth, they will be sent back.
Confirming the ban, on April 13, Saturday it was announced the Election Commission directive will be strictly implemented.
“Voters carrying mobile phones shall not be allowed inside polling stations as per the EC’s orders,”
While the BBMP commissioner acknowledged the EC order, he refused to divulge details on the reason for the ban. A senior BBMP official said, “There were such complaints in the past by the public and political parties across the country. Further, mobile phones have also been banned for security reasons as well.”
Clarifying on the EC order, “Only those persons on election duty can use mobile phones as they will have to report the process on an hourly basis to us.”
Interestingly, while the EC has banned phones, it has not made any provision for voters to deposit them at the polling booths, as it requires additional manpower and expenditure.
“We have not made any arrangements for voters to deposit their mobile phones at the polling stations. As the decision is being informed well in advance, voters must leave their phones at home and come to vote. Otherwise, they have to go back,”
Around 45,000 staff members including returning officers, additional returning officers and polling authorities have been deployed for election duty.