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Lok Sabha Elections 2019: From gardening to ration cards, poll helpline flooded with funny queries

The Election Commission’s 24-hour helpline, operating from a call centre at Hisar, started functioning from February 12 and has received 7,650 calls so far.

lok sabha elections Updated: Mar 19, 2019 14:57 IST
Bhaskar Mukherjee
Bhaskar Mukherjee
Hindustan Times, Hisar
lok sabha elections 2019,election commission helpline,EC helpline number
The attendants at Election Commission’s helpline say they have also received queries about everything under the sun, except those related to elections.(Parwaz Khan /HT PHOTO)

When the Election Commission had set up a 24-hour helpline number, 1950, the idea was to tackle voters’ poll-related queries and complaints. But if call attendants on this number are to be believed, they get queries about everything under the sun, except those related to elections.

Sample this. “Madam ji, kinnow ke paudhey lagane ke liye kya karna padega, aur paudhey kahan se milenge. (Madam, how does one plant kinnow saplings and where does one get the saplings from?)”. This is among the many humorous queries received on the number.

The call centre at Hisar started functioning from February 12 and has received 7,650 calls so far.

A call attendant, requesting anonymity, said, “This is a very important number and we are always ready to help people with any election-related query they have. But the calls we get here on a daily basis are nothing but humorous.”

“This morning I got call from a person who told me that the government had failed to bring electricity to the villages. He went on to say he would vote for a certain party if it provides electricity connection to the villages,” she added.

The attendants say they have also received complaints related to Aadhar card, ration card and junior basic teachers’ recruitment.

When contacted, Hisar deputy commissioner (DC) Ashok Kumar Meena said, “This is right, we are getting a number of queries which are not related to the purpose for which the helpline number was set up. People must understand the importance of toll-free number 1950. This is very important number and anyone can get election related information from the number. The workers who are there are always ready for help.”

First Published: Mar 19, 2019 14:57 IST

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