June 2, 2023


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Election Commission puts brakes on free or discount food at hotels and restaurants

Offering free or discount food for voters after voting amounts to violation of MCC

Bengaluru, May 9: Election Commission has given a stern warning for those hotels and restaurants which were offering free or subsidized lunch, meals and other freebies for those who voted (by flashing indelible ink mark) in the assembly polls scheduled on May 10. Results will be announced on May 13.

Speaking to reporters District Election Officer (DEO) and BBMP chief commissioner Tushar Giri Nath said that offering discounted or free food items or juice amounts to violation of Model Code of Conduct (MCC) and inducement. Hence, owners of all restaurants and hotels have been asked to refrain from displaying such boards to attract customers.

Failing which the hotel management will be completely held responsible and cases will be filed as per the provisions of the law. On Monday also election commission observed that some of the hotels offering perks and freebies for those who come after voting.

Asked whether such announcements help increase the voting per centage in the city, which is always abysmally low, Nath says that hotels and restaurants are private bodies and it would be difficult to ascertain the real motive behind such moves or who or which party is behind such initiatives.

Some of the hotels authorities had requested the chief election commissioner to allow them to provide free food for those who come after voting. The same request was forwarded to BBMP for consideration. After going through the provisions of the law it was considered as the violation of MCC, explains Nath.

Voting cannot be marketing it should be individual and wise choice, he added.

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