On 10 May 2023, citizens of Karnataka will go out to vote for the next State Government. While BJP, JD S and Congress party have been on an aggressive push to urge voters to choose their respective parties, restaurants and eateries in Bangalore are wooing voters to step out in large numbers and vote, to avail special offers.
Idli Guru at HRBR layout is offering dosas for Rs. 10/- in a bid to drive footfalls to polling booths as well as their own precincts later. What would otherwise cost between Rs. 60-90/- for a portion is being offered for as low as Rs. 10/-. Voters with the indelible ink mark on their index finger can avail this offer.
The eatery offers a choice of 4 different dosas as part of this promotion which is available until 13 May 2023, when the election results are likely to be announced by the Election Commission of India.
The Bangalore constituencies have historically been one of the lowest turnout centres in the past few elections. This is because a large percentage of residents who work in IT and ITES are from other states of India where they have their electoral bases. Most of them do not wish to change their election id cards and domicile details, as they prefer to return to their hometown some day.
But not everyone is happy. Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), the civic body that manages the city and the de-facto Electoral Officer of the ongoing Assembly Elections, had taken suo moto cognisance of such offers and issued a notice that offering free food and beverages is in violation of election rules and code of conduct.
However, on 9 May 2023, the Karnataka High Court stayed the EC order and allowed restaurants to distribute free food and beverages to encourage voting. Nisarga Grand and Hotel Owners Association had moved the HC against EC order.
Mr. Krishnaraja, owner of Nisarga Grand Hotel on Nrupathunga Road, Bangalore said, “This is not a politically motivated offer. We did it earlier in 2018 and 2019 for State Assembly and Lok sabha elections respectively. In 2018, 3,900 voters made use of it and in 2019, 5,100 voters availed this offer.‘
The hotel shall provide benne dosa (butter dosa), Mysore pak and cool drinks to voters after voting. Chalukya Samrat Cafe on Church Street has also decided to provide free breakfast to voters.