Deputy Commissioner P. Hemalatha said on Wednesday that the district administration had made all preparations for both the first and the second phases of gram panchayat elections in Udupi district.

Ms. Hemalatha told presspersons here that elections to gram panchayats in Udupi and Karkala taluks would be held on May 8, while those to gram panchayats in Kundapur taluk would be held on May 12.

A total of 124 candidates have been elected unopposed in the district — 51 in Udupi taluk and 73 in Kundapur taluk. Candidates to two gram panchayats — Belapu in Udupi taluk and Marvanthe in Kundapur taluk — had been elected unopposed.

A total of 4,995 candidates are in the fray for elections to 2,199 gram panchayat seats in the district.

A total of 731 polling stations would be set up in the district — 320 in Udupi, 153 in Karkala taluk and 258 in Kundapur taluk.

As many as 6,11,996 voters, including 3,31,338 women, are expected to exercise their franchise in the district.

The indelible ink would be applied on the middle finger of the right hand of the voters, Ms. Hemalatha said.

The Government has declared public holidays in rural areas on May 8 and 12.

Asked if there was any complaint of inducement, coercion or threat in gram panchayats where the candidates were elected unopposed, Ms. Hemalatha said that an inquiry was conducted by tahsildars of the respective taluks in this regard and no irregularity was found.

Combing operations

Superintendent of Police Pravin Pawar said that special security would be provided at 22 polling stations in naxalite-affected areas. Combing operations were on in the naxalite-affected areas and they would continue till the counting of votes was completed. Peace committee meetings had been held in 32 gram panchayats.

As many as 1,473 police personnel would be on duty on May 8, including two deputy superintendents of police (DySPs), seven circle police inspectors, 66 sub-inspectors/assistant sub-inspectors, 165 head constables, 449 constables, 397 Home Guards, 22 armed head constables and 132 armed constables.

As many as 995 police personnel would be on duty on May 12, including two DySPs, four circle police inspectors, 50 sub inspectors/assistant sub-inspectors, 91 head constables, 272 constables, 212 Home Guards, 22 armed head constables and 132 armed constables.

As many as five platoons of the Karnataka State Reserve Police, eight teams of the District Armed Reserve police and two emergency units would also be pressed into service during both the phases of the elections, Mr. Pawar added.

Chief Executive Officer of the Udupi Zilla Panchayat Pranesh Rao was present.

Keywords: Local elections

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