Bengaluru: After making elaborate arrangements to hold peaceful polls in the state, the Election Commission (EC) is still holding its fingers crossed on the voter turnout on the polling day as pre-monsoon showers are forecast in various parts of the state May 12.
After tackling doubts related to the functioning of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM), curbing poll related malpractices with cash seizures exceeding Rs 150 Crore and more recently huge cache of fake voter IDs, EC has no clues to counter rain gods, apart from praying with folded hands to keep the skies clear of clouds!
EC has conducted several voter awareness campaigns on the introduction of VVPAT machines and employed brand ambassadors to educate voters in an attempt to increase voting percentage. The early exit of local franchise in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket league too has come to EC’s aid to a great extent. With fears abound on the participation of youth this time with polls scheduled for weekend, EC’s fears are compounded with several parts of the state experiencing thunder storms in the last few days.To make matters worse, state MET department has forecast heavy showers on the polling day, especially in the afternoon.
Director (In-Charge) of Natural Disaster Management Srinivas Reddy advised voters to turn up at polling centres before 3 PM though the election commission has extended polling hours till 6 PM on May 12 this time. Voters may not be inclined to exit their homes once it starts raining, he opined.
State experiencing pre-monsoon showers has EC worried as it has no measures in place. The natural turbulence in the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea is only adding to those fears, with coastal and interior Karnataka expected to received moderate to heavy rains on the polling day.