12,000 booths identified as critical: EC

Bengaluru: Para military forces would be deployed around 12,000 of the 58,000 polling booths across Karnataka as they have been identified as critical, according to Chief Electoral Officer Sanjeev Kumar.

Addressing media persons here on Tuesday, Mr. Kumar said the Election Commission has identified 20 per cent of the total booths as critical and therefore a combination of security systems would be in place on May 12, the date of polling.

This time 585 companies of central forces have arrived to ensure free and fair elections. In addition, 300 would be deployed for web casting, 10,000 for miscellaneous purposes and polling staff number 3, 65,000 would be on duty, he added   

Mr Sanjeev Kumar said for the first time in Karnataka, the Elections Commission has created 600 pink booths across the state. These pink booths would be managed by women polling officers and women police officers would provide security at these booths. In Bengaluru (Urban) alone, the Commission has created 100 pink booths as against 50 pink booths in Belagavi, 30 each in Chikkaballapura and Bidar.

The Commission has set up 28 ethnic booths in eight districts. Voters belonging to tribes could cast their votes in ethnic booths at Chamarajanagara, Madikeri, Udupi, Dakshina Kannada, Shivamogha, Chikkamagaluru and Uttara Kannada districts, the Chief Electoral Officer added.

Commission has given permission to fly 175 helicopters by three political parties of which BJP has been using 96, the Congress, 35, and JD (S), 33, respectively Mr Kumar added.

The CEO said so far the flying squad has seized cash of  Rs76.7 crores across the state, while officers of excise department  seized liquor worth Rs. 20.12 crore. As many as 333 persons were booked under preventive sections of CRPC and 463 non-bailable warrants were executed.

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