In order to ensure a higher voter turnout for Lok Sabha polls in Karnataka, including Bengaluru which already has a poor track record, the Shivamogga district administration has adopted a novel measure. In an order issued by Deputy Commissioner KA Dayananda, all resorts, homestays and hotels in the tourist district have been asked not to entertain guests from constituencies which are going to polls on April 18 and 23.
This comes in anticipation of many flocking to holiday destinations to escape the summer heat with days before and after the polling day in the first phase being holidays.
The Times of India reported that the two-page order has asked all tour operators and resort/hotel owners to verify the address proof and voter ID cards of the guests before giving accommodation.
â€śAll voters must exercise their franchise to strengthen democracy. Keeping this in mind, Iâ€™ve issued such an order,â€ť the Deputy Commissioner told the newspaper.
While in Shivamogga, it is the district administration, in Hassan and Kodagu, hoteliers have taken the responsibility upon themselves. Hotels and resorts in Sakleshpur in Hassan and many such establishments in Kodagu are refusing to take bookings for April 18.
Speaking to Deccan Herald, Santosh, one such resort owner, said, â€śThis is our bit to ensure the citizens take part in the elections. For the people who have done the advance booking, we are requesting them to reschedule their plans. There are a few bookings on the above mentioned dates, we have asked them to advance or postpone their plans and also given the option of refund. Now itâ€™s up to the people to consider it. If they deliberately want to skip the polls, we canâ€™t help.â€ť
Similarly, Viju Changappa, the president of Kodagu Homestays Association said that its members will ask tourists from across the country about their voter participation.
â€śWe are doing this in our limits. Our members are aware of the election dates across the country, who will ask tourists about their participation in elections if they book on their respective voting days,â€ť he told DH.