The Karnataka High Court has allowed hotels to distribute and serve free food during the state’s Assembly Elections. The decision comes after the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) prohibited the serving of free food on election day after voting, with the State Election Commission warning hotels of strict action against those who would do so.
However, the Hotel Owners’ Association and the owners of Nisarga Grand Hotel challenged the orders, and the High Court has now quashed them, upholding the hotels’ activities. Senior counsel Satish Bhat, representing the Hotel Owners’ Association, argued that it would have been a lure if the hotels had offered food before voting. The food would only be served after checking the black ink mark on the fingers of the voters.
Krishnaraja SP, the owner of Nisarga Grand Hotel, welcomed the decision, stating that “Free food and cold drink are served to the voters after polling at the hotel to create awareness among the electorate.” Several hotels across the state have come forward to offer free food, encouraging people to vote.
The decision has been welcomed by many as a way to encourage people to participate in the electoral process. The distribution and serving of free food is seen as a way to create awareness among the electorate and ensure a high voter turnout. With the court’s decision, hotels can now offer free food and drinks to voters without fear of reprisals.