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Free beer among incentives to vote in Indian city

  • May 1, 2024
  • 2 min read
Free beer among incentives to vote in Indian city

Companies in one southern Indian city are offering a number of unique incentives to get people voting in the general elections. Bengaluru in Karnataka state is often in the news due to its low voter turnout compared to other parts of the country. So hotels, taxi services, and other firms have revealed a number of incentives hoping to encourage residents to cast their ballots.

These range from free health checkups and discounted taxi rides, to even free beer. Some food outlets are even requiring customers to show their finger stained with indelible ink which provides proof that they have voted.

The city goes to the polls in round two of India’s seven-phase election and the state’s high court allowed an association of hotels to offer these incentives, provided they do not violate election guidelines.

“Different hotels and restaurants will be providing different things to the voters based on their personal call,” PC Rao, president of the hotel association, told the Bangalore Mirror newspaper. “While some of these places will provide free coffee, dosas [a pancake made from rice batter and lentils] and fruit juice to overcome the heat, some of the outlets will give discounts on food or have some offers.”

In the last general election in 2019, the city’s Bangalore South constituency reported the lowest voter turnout in Karnataka state at just 53.7%. Bangalore Central (54.3%) and Bangalore North (54.7%) also reported low turnouts compared with the state’s total of 68%.

Amusement park Wonderla is also offering discounted ticket prices while one pub in the city is giving away free beer to the first 50 customers who have gone to the polls. Ridesharing app Blu-Smart is giving its riders a 50% discount to travel to within 30km or 18 miles of a polling station while taxi firm Rapido is offering free rides to disabled and elderly voters.

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