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It's advantage net savvy candidates [Bangalore] [Times of India]
[March 08, 2014]

It's advantage net savvy candidates [Bangalore] [Times of India]

(Times of India Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) BANGALORE: Aspiring MPs, who are planning to contest the coming Lok Sabha elections, may lose some votes if they are not internet savvy. For, rules prohibit them from campaigning in public 48 hours prior to the end of voting time but allow soliciting of votes through door-to-door visits and social networking sites like Facebook.

Social media provides candidates an opportunity to reach a huge number of voters till the last hour, while door-to-door campaigning could be time-consuming.

KR Niranjan, special commissioner (elections), told the TOI that candidates "can campaign through social networking sites and seek votes through emails even the day before the election". But candidates and political parties should maintain all the expenditure they incur on campaigning, including that on advertisements on social media, and submit the same to the Election Commission of India (ECI), he said.

The contestants and parties should also submit to the ECI payments they make to internet companies and websites for carrying advertisements and expenditure incurred in developing the content for their e-propaganda, said Niranjan.

They should also submit the operational expenditure incurred on salaries and wages paid to workers employed to maintain social media accounts.

Since the model code of conduct applies to content on internet including social media, the Media Certification and Monitoring Committee will supervise the activities of candidates and political parties on internet and social media.

Special enrolment camp on Sunday If you haven't enrolled yourself as a voter, you still have a chance to get the right to vote and exercise your choice in the coming Lok Sabha elections.

A special voter enrolment camp is being organized on March 9 at 7,712 polling stations in the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) limits to provide a chance to eligible citizens to enroll themselves as voters.

BBMP commissioner M Lakshminarayana said people enroll as voters on or before March 16. Eligible voters can also check if their names are missing from voters list which will be available outside their respective polling booths, he said.

The commissioner said between October 30 to December 12 last year, as many as new 2,26,608 people enrolled as voters. About 24,653 voters' names were deleted for reasons like death and change of residence among others.

Lakshminarayana said as many CCTV cameras as possible will be installed at polling booths to curb unlawful activities. He directed all his BBMP zonal officers to remove the hoardings and posters of all the political parties within 24 hours.

Know your booth If voters want to locate their polling station, they have to just send an SMS to 9243355223 by just keying in KAEPIC [space] EPIC card number.

Niranjan said if voters have any doubts related to voting and enrolment of their names they can make a phone call to a call centre which will be established in two days. The officer said the phone number of the call centre will be announced soon.

To create awareness about voting, street plays and other programmes will be conducted in slums, IT companies and apartments, he said, adding: "During the last elections the voting percentage was 58%. This year we are targeting 75%," he added.

(c) 2014 Bennett, Coleman & Company Limited

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