The stage is set for the elections to the four urban local bodies (ULBs) in Udupi district to be held from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday. Electronic voting machines (EVMs) are being used for the first time for the ULB polls

The four ULBs are Udupi City Municipal Council (CMC), Kundapur Town Municipal Council (TMC), Karkala Town Municipal Council, and Saligrama Town Panchayat.

There are more women voters than men in all the four local bodies.

Of a total of 88 booths in Udupi CMC, 17 have been declared hypersensitive, while 40 booths have been classified as sensitive. Of the 23 booths in Kundapur TMC, one booth has been designated as hyper-sensitive. There are 10 sensitive in the Kundapur limits. In Karkala TMC, there are nine sensitive booths. There are two hyper-sensitive, 10 sensitive booths in Saligrama Town Panchayat.

Superintendent of Police M.B. Boralingaiah said on Wednesday that three Deputy Superintendents of Police along with eight inspectors, 22 sub-inspectors, and five assistant sub-inspectors are overseeing the security arrangements.

Apart from 53 head constables, 181 constables and 100 head home guards, the services of six parties of District Armed Reserve force, three platoons of Karnataka State Reserve Police (KSRP) had been availed for the peaceful conduct of the polls on Thursday.

As many as 10 check posts had also been set up at vital places.

Close contest

It will be a close contest between the BJP and the Congress in Udupi with both fielding candidates in all the 35 wards. The JD(S) is contesting in nine wards and the BSR Congress and the Karnataka Janata Party are contesting in seven and four wards respectively. There are four independents in the fray. The Congress and the BJP are engaged in a direct clash in 20 wards while eight wards will see triangular contest with JD(S) as the third contender. In the Udupi CMC poll, the outgoing president, the vice-president and the Leader of the Opposition are not contesting. In the previous term, the BJP had 28 councillors and the Congress, six councillors. The BJP and its earlier avatar the Jan Sangh have ruled the Udupi municipality for over 45 years. The Congress and the CPI(M) have struck a pact for the Kundapur TMC polls.

The Congress has fielded 16 candidates here and the CPI(M) is contesting in the remaining seven wards. “It is only an understanding and not an alliance,” said K. Shankar, secretary of the Udupi district unit of CPI(M).

Seized

The police on Tuesday seized a liquor haul allegedly meant to be distributed among voters at Malpe and Karkala.

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