Hotels are not allowed to make free offers to voters: Bengaluru civic body | Bengaluru News

BENGALURU: While two restaurants in the city had made offers to provide free breakfast and food to those who cast their votes on Wednesday, such initiatives are expected to draw the ire of the Election Commission of India.
Taking cognizance of the offers being circulated on social media, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) chief commissioner Tushar Giri Nath told TOI these are not allowed. He advised all eaters not to offer such things, and said “otherwise cases will be booked”. The owners of the two restaurants — Nisarga Grand and Chalukya Samrat — had told TOI that the initiative was free of political affiliation or bias, and hoped only to increase voter turnout in the city. Back in 2018, Bengaluru reported a small turnout of 54.7%. The various offers to voters aimed to increase polling numbers, they said.
Hotel Nisarga Grand on Nrupath unga Road, which had offered free breakfast to voters in the past, said it would dish out free benne dosa (butter dosa), Mysore pak, and cool drinks for those voting.
Krishna Raj, owner of the hotel, had earlier said: “We got necessary permission. This is the third time — after the assembly and Lok Sabha elections in 2018 and 2019, respectively — we would be doing this. About 3,900 voter-customers availed of our offer in 2018, while the number jumped to 5,100 in 2019. We had film actors the last time, and we’re expecting them this time too as we celebrate elections with a festive fervor.”
In addition to this, 100 new voters will get a cinema ticket for free, announcing the restaurant on a hoarding. “The first 100 youth voters will be given a Kannada movie ticket for free. The movie is not decided yet. We have discussed the matter with the Kannada film chamber,” he had said.
Chalukya Samrat Cafe on Church Street decided to provide free breakfast to early voters — from 7.30am to 11.30am. PC Rao, president of Bruhat Bangalore Hotels’ Association, which has 40,000 member hotels, said the association dropped a letter with the poll commission seeking permission to participate in the same.
Vote-A-Thon winners
BBMP distributed cash prizes and mementos to the winners of the Vote-A-Thon competition. Namadeva Kagadagara stood first and VRC Shekhar secured second place in the poster competition, while SN Creations won first prize in the reels category. Prashant Motagi secured first place and Srinivas was second in the slogan category. Those who stood first received Rs 5,000.

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