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Who are ‘VIP’ electors & why they don’t get additional privileges

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The latest data released by the election commission shows that the 14 constituencies that go to poll on April 26 have 30,372 “VIP” electors, bringing attention to a small fraction of the total over 5.4 crore people registered to cast votes in the

Lok Sabha elections

.
But the granting of this “VIP” status — part of an internal exercise of the election commission — doesn’t fetch these people any privilege that you don’t enjoy at the

polling stations

.

TOI gives you a rundown:
Who are VIP electors
While there’s no formal definition, Karnataka Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Manoj Kumar Meena, says: “These are prominent electors who are busy in service. They may include MLAs, MPs, IAS, IPS officers, among others.”

The category also includes other politicians such as presidents of zilla panchayat, former ministers and legislators, big celebrities, cultural icons, etc.
No special treatment
However, these people don’t get any special treatment compared to general electors. “They don’t get to skip queues when they arrive at polling stations, they are given any other preferential treatment,” Meen said. While another official added that the only thing the EC does about them is to go the extra mile to ensure they are on the electoral list.

Why’s that done?
It is done to prevent embarrassment on polling day and to prevent any impact on other electors. “Unlike general electors, when prominent people get left out of the rolls, it is made into a big issue and statements made on poll day by some of these people who are naturally upset about not being able to vote, could lead general electors to question the integrity of the rolls. This categorisation is done to prevent this,” the official said.
Where are they?
Data for VIP electors is available for the first 14 segments: Chitradurga, Udupi-Chikmagalur, Tumkur, Kolar, Hassan, Bangalore Rural, Bangalore North, Bangalore Central, Bangalore South, Chikkaballapur, Mandya, Mysore, Dakshina Kannada and Chamarajanagar — that go to polls on April 26.
Of these, the Bangalore segments — North (190), Central (232), South (265) — have the least, while most are from Dakshina Kannada (6,423).

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