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Wednesday, November 25, 2020

RR Nagar bypoll: Special arrangements in place but Covid-19 patients ‘reluctant’ to show up at booths

While 90 ambulances have been arranged for Covid-19 patients to be transported to and from polling stations, a dedicated hour of voting for them has also been notified -- from 5 pm to 6 pm.

By: Express Web Desk | Bangalore | November 2, 2020 8:03:51 pm
Election, voting, Karnataka legislative assembly pollsThe Congress has made the defections a poll plank, terming the turncoats gaddars (traitors) who should be defeated. (File)

As Bengaluru’s Rajarajeshwari Nagar (RR) goes to polls on Tuesday, people who are Covid-19 positive have shown reluctance to show up at polling booths even with the special arrangements put in place.

Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Commissioner and District Electoral Officer N Manjunatha Prasad said officials and control room staff members had called up Covid-19 patients in all the nine wards of the constituency via telephone but the interest shown has been low.

“We have called them (Covid-19 patients and those suspecting to be infected) up two or three times until now. Many have shown reluctance to come and vote. However, our teams will try to convince them till the last hour of the polling and shall offer them arrangements to come in ambulances. PPE kits will also be provided,” he said.

While 90 ambulances have been arranged for Covid-19 patients to be transported to and from polling stations, a dedicated hour of voting for them has been notified by officials as well – from 5 pm to 6 pm.

The RR Nagar seat fell vacant in July last year after Congress MLA, N Munirathna, defected to the BJP. While Munirathna is the BJP candidate this time, the Congress has fielded H Kusuma, a political novice who was the wife of the IAS officer D K Ravi who died in 2015. She is also the daughter of Janata Dal (Secular) leader Hanumantharayappa. V Krishnamurthy, a local leader, has been fielded by the JDS this time.

Voting will take place in 678 polling booths across the constituency with 20 per cent additional staff deployed for duty in case of emergency requirement in any of the polling booths, he added.

According to BBMP officials, at least 1,777 people are positive for COVID-19 in the constituency as of last week. While 842 are under home isolation, 317 others are hospitalised and 18 are in Covid Care facilities.

“To make use of the ambulance service, those who suspect they might have COVID-19 may call 080-28600954/ 28604331/ 28601050/ 94822 24474,” a BBMP statement added.

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