With the Andhra Pradesh local body elections set to begin on 21 March, authorities have been taking strict measures to ensure the polls run smoothly, devoid of any malpractice. In line with the preparations, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy launched the new Nigha app on Saturday. The app was launched for the citizens with the aim of keeping a check on all the contestants in the polls, so that they do not resort to malpractice ahead of the elections. The Panchayat Raj department launched the app in addition to the measures taken by the Election Commission and Police Department to empower the citizens.
Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy launched ‘NIGHA’ app to ensure ‘clean and healthy’ elections by curbing the use of money and alcohol in the upcoming local body elections. NIGHA app empowers common citizens to lodge complaints on electoral malpractices. pic.twitter.com/T1FhTOjKTt
— CMO Andhra Pradesh (@AndhraPradeshCM) March 7, 2020
The application allows citizens to lodge complaints online. With the model code of conduct coming into force, the pressure now remains on the contestants to rally for support without bribing the voters with money and other means. The Nigha app allows voters to submit proofs of electoral malpractice via photos and videos on to the app. Their identity will remain anonymous to ensure privacy and security. Citizens would only need to submit their phone numbers on the app to receive a secure One Time Password before logging in.
Once a complaint is registered on the app, a unique ID would be allocated to it. It will then be redirected to the central control room and forwarded to the concerned officials. Strict punishments will be levied on the people responsible for disturbing the state of affairs ahead of the elections. While the Mandal and Zilla Parishad elections will be conducted on 21st and 24th of March, the municipal elections would be held on 27 March, 2020.