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Free food, taxi rides to woo voters in Bengaluru

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India’s Silicon Valley Bengaluru, which houses many software giants and startups, has been notorious for low voter turnout during elections.

As the city goes to polls on Friday (26), many companies and business establishments are offering a host of incentives – from free food to taxi rides – to encourage people to cast their ballot, BBC reports.

Hotels, taxi services, and other firms have announced initiatives to encourage people to cast their ballots.

Meanwhile, the Karnataka high court has allowed an association of hotels to provide food for free or at discounted prices as long as it did not violate election guidelines.

Customers need to show their fingers stained with indelible ink as proof they have voted to avail of benefits at food outlets.

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Some restaurants are offering free coffee, dosas, and fruit juice, while others plan to provide discounts on food.

A pub in the city is giving away free beer to its first 50 customers who have voted.

Ridesharing app Blu-Smart is offering a 50 per cent discount to passengers, while taxi aggregator Rapido is giving free rides to people with disabilities and elderly voters.

The city is voting in the round two of India’s seven-phase election.

In the last general election in 2019, all the constituencies within the city limits recorded a low turnout.

Bangalore South constituency had recorded the lowest voting percentage in Karnataka state at 53.7 per cent. The turnout in the other two constituencies was no better – Bangalore Central (54.3 per cent) and Bangalore North (54.7 per cent), compared with the state’s overall tally of 68 per cent polling.

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