Phone Ban At Polling Booths Sparks Confusion Among Pune, Shirur, Maval Voters

Phone Ban At Polling Booths Sparks Confusion Among Pune, Shirur, Maval Voters

While at some places, the police strictly enforced the order and did not allow voters to carry their phones inside, at others, it was permitted but voters were asked to switch them off

Ankit ShuklaUpdated: Monday, May 13, 2024, 06:20 PM IST
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Phone Ban At Polling Booths Sparks Confusion Among Pune, Shirur, Maval Voters | Anand Chaini

Just hours before Pune, Shirur, and Maval were about to go to polls, Pune District Collector Suhas Diwase issued an order stating that voters would not be allowed to carry mobile phones within a 100-metre radius of polling booths. Diwase urged voters to leave their phones at home or in their vehicles before casting their votes to ensure the privacy of their ballots, emphasising that photography or videography inside polling booths is strictly prohibited.

On polling day, chaos and confusion ensued as many voters were unaware of this guideline and had carried their mobile phones with them. While at some places, the police strictly enforced the order and did not allow voters to carry their phones inside, at others, it was permitted but voters were asked to switch them off.

Hemant Aacharya, a resident of Ganesh Peth, who came to vote at Tilak Ayurved Mahavidyalaya, said, "I didn't know that mobile phones were prohibited. I kept it on silent mode inside my pocket. Authorities did not restrict me."

Neeta Pawar, a resident of Raviwar Peth, expressed, "I went inside RPM Gujrathi High School with my mobile phone. However, in the voting room, an officer asked me to place my mobile on the table next to the voting machine."

Harsh Navale, another resident of Raviwar Peth, said, "I was not aware of the collector's orders, but no one restricted me from keeping my mobile phones within 100 metres. Our voting centre was at Maulana Mohammed Ali Johar Urdu Vidyaniketan High School. Officers instructed me to switch it off. I went in and cast my votes easily."

Prafulla Gaikwad, a resident of Bhosari, said, "I was not allowed to take my phone inside. I had to leave the phone at a nearby house near the polling booth. After voting, I retrieved my phone." "The collector should have issued this order sooner, or at least they should have provided some facility to store our mobile phones at the polling centre itself," he added.

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