Published: 16th April 2019
No more 'I Voted' selfies as ECI bans taking mobile phones into the polling booth
The ban on mobile phones will be applicable to journalists as well. Only officials deployed on election duty will be allowed to use mobile phones
Voters may not be able to take selfies in front of polling booths from April 18 as the Election Commission of India (ECI) has banned the use of mobile phones during voting. Chief Electoral Officer Satyabratra Sahoo told the media on Monday that except officials deployed on election duty and police personnel, no one will be allowed to carry mobile phones up to 100m radius from the booths. The restriction will be applicable to media persons as well, he said.
Explaining further, he said the restriction was imposed mainly to avoid any law and order problems during the poll day. There will be no provision to keep phones at the booth, he said. Stating that a total of 4,466 cases had been registered for violation of the model code of conduct across the State, which includes cases under The Representation of the People Act. A total of 1,410 cases had been registered against DMK, while 1119 cases slapped on AIADMK for various violations. The rest were against other parties, including Congress, BJP, PMK and DMDK, he said. Of the 261 cases registered for distribution of cash, disrupting poll work and other violations, AIADMK topped with 68 cases, followed by AMMK with 55.
On seizure of unaccounted cash by flying squads and I-T department, Sahoo said a total of Rs 132.91 crore had been seized of which Rs 65.01 crore had been returned to the respective owners, after completing the due procedures. The EC has received 2387 complaints through cVIGIL mobile app of which action is being taken on 1076 complaints, while the remaining cases are under different stages of inquiry. To a query on overseas voters, Sahoo said the State has a total of 924 voters who live in foreign countries. Those voters can cast their vote in the designated polling booths and they will not be able to vote through any other mode, he said.
On casting of postal ballots by government employees who are assigned election duties, the official said a total of 4,22,239 persons are eligible for postal ballots for Lok Sabha elections. So far 2,03,413 postal ballots had been issued of which 101473 had cast their votes. Totally, 97,467 postal ballots were in the process of being cast. The remaining employees will be able to cast their votes in the coming days, he said.