Bengaluru, April 9, 2019.
The Chief electoral officer Sanjiiv Kumar addressed the press today. He spoke about the various electoral norms that have been introduced for the current Lok Sabha polls. He was also accompanied by various administrative officers like Venkatesh, Jagadhish and Ragavendra.
He said, “We have introduced a new app for android phones called Citizen Vigil through which the citizens can file complaints on the candidates. The app is connected with geo tag and time tag, so that when there is any malpractice, the enforcement can reach the place correctly on time.
The app will be in the direct control of the district election commissioners. Once a complaint is filed, the enforcement agencies should reach the place in 15 minutes and a report should be filed in 100 minutes.”
He also said that people can file an affidavit against the candidates on the websites CEO Karnataka or 2019 Election Commission. Through the website, people can see the criminal and civil cases against the candidates.
Not very many people are using Citizen Vigil app. So far we have got only got 1,688 complaints from Citizen Vigil. In those 474 are appropriate. The other 325 are about illegal banner ads, 150 complaints about distributing money to voters, 58 complaints about paid news, 74 liquor distributing cases, 78 gift and coupon distributing complaints, 33 cases about property displacement, and 90 about vehicle misuse cases.
We have various squads to take care of these complaints. We have 1,512 mobile squads, 1,837 fixed squads, 320 excise squads, 180 commercial tax squads. About 10,000 people have trained to take action against these cases, they come there to enquire and enforce legalities within 15 minutes of the complaint.
Citizens have the bigger role in democracy, they have to take part in these and make use of it as much as possible.
We have a helpline number and people can use this number to know the information and register complaints. The helpline number is 1950and its toll free. So far we have got 3,716 complaints through the helpline. We have 5 crore 11 lakh voters in Karnataka.
The number of voters registered for the current polls is 5,11,00,000. This time we have made special arrangements at polling booths for Divyaang (persons with disabilities) voters. The polling booths have be facilitated with temporary ramps, wheelchairs, and we have tried to maintain all the polling booths on the ground floor. Volunteers and sign interpretors have been assigned to help them.
There are a total of 58,188 polling booths in Karnataka and all of them have these facilities. This is the first election in which such facilities have been provided. Even vehicles have been provided to take the persons with disabilities and old people from home to the polling booth.
Talking about the Citizen Vigil app, Kumar said, “There has been no discrimination against the complaints received. There has been rumours going around that the number of compliants against independent and regional candidates are higher than the compliants against national party candidates. But this is not true. The complaints are found to be genuine without any favouritism shopwed towards any particular party candidate.”