Of the 49 requests made by political parties seeking the Election Commission’s permission to use helicopters for campaigning, the highest are from the JD(S), said Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Sanjiv Kumar.
Addressing presspersons, Kumar said the JD(S) had submitted 22 requests for helicopter use and of these, while 17 applications have been accepted, four are in progress and one rejected.
This is followed by the BJP that submitted 16 applications for helicopter use. Of this, 14 have been accepted and one is pending and one rejected. The Congress sought 11 permissions of which seven have been accepted, he said.
Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy had recently alleged that his party was finding it difficult to get choppers for campaigning. Smelling a “conspiracy” behind this, the Chief Minister had alleged that the Centre is “misusing its power” to restrict him from campaigning by making helicopters non-available. He had made the allegation while in Hassan to campaign for his nephew Prajwal Revanna.
Special postal cover
To mark the Lok Sabha polls, the Election Commission in collaboration with the Department of Posts released a ‘Special Postal Cover’ and ‘My Stamp’. The postal cover has been designed with the 2019 Lok Sabha election logo as ‘Desh ka maha thyohar’.
Releasing the cover, Charles Lobo, Chief Post Master General, Karnataka Circle, said it has been designed to educate voters regarding EVM and VVPAT. The method of casting vote and the process of voting using EVM and VVPAT have been pictorially depicted on the cover.
“The special cover has photos of Persons with Disabilities (PwD) voters to inspire the specially abled to cast their vote by using the special facilities including wheelchairs, magnifying glasses, sign language interpreters and free transport provided by the Election Commission. The Election Commission’s toll free number 1950 is prominently displayed on the cover, he said.
To aid of 51,135 visually challenged registered voters, the Election Commission will display dummy ballot paper in Braille in all polling booths. This is to help the visually challenged voters to recognise the candidates before casting their vote. Visually challenged voter Bhagyashree B. released the dummy ballot paper of Bengaluru Central parliamentary constituency at the press conference.
Pointing out that this exercise has been introduced for the first time in the elections, the CEO said a special drive is being undertaken to create awareness among visually challenged voters. Braille postcards and letters are being send to all voters.
EC to seek report on ‘suspicious’ box
Responding to queries regarding KPCC president Dinesh Gundu Rao’s tweet on a “mysterious box” that was allegedly unloaded from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s helicopter at Chitradurga recently and loaded into a private vehicle “that quickly sped away”, Chief Electoral Officer Sanjiv Kumar said he will seek a report from the Chitradurga District Election officer.
“A mysterious box was unloaded from PM Modi’s helicopter at Chitradurga yesterday and loaded into a private Innova which quickly sped away. The #ElectionCommission should enquire into what was in the box and to whom the vehicle belonged,” the M Rao had tweeted with a CCTV footage of the incident.