Total electorate is 25,14,010; 63,206 more voters this time

All arrangements are in place for the Lok Sabha elections on April 10 in the Thiruvananthapuram and Attingal constituencies, District Collector and Election Officer Biju Prabhakar said here on Monday.

Addressing a press conference, Mr. Prabhakar, said the Thiruvananthapuram constituency had the maximum number of candidates — 20 — among the 20 parliamentary constituencies in the State. Attingal, with 16 candidates, stood second with three other constituencies. This had necessitated the use of two ballot units each in polling booths in both the constituencies. The electronic voting machines (EVMs) were commissioned late on Sunday. The Thiruvananthapuram constituency will have 2,120 ballot units and 1,060 control units while Attingal, will have 2,236 ballot units and 1,118 control units. Apart from these, each of the 14 Assembly constituencies in the district will have 12 to 17 reserve EVMs.

A total of 10,271 officials have been deputed for polling duty in the 2,178 polling booths while squads to detect model code of conduct violations, video surveillance teams, flying squads, anti-defacement squads, accounting teams and review teams made up for another 3,000-strong official machinery working round the clock to ensure free and fair polling, Mr. Prabhakar said, adding that there were 124 booths in 54 locations that had been classified as hyper-sensitive. The total number of sensitive booths was 267, which was subject to revision since the law and order situation and other factors were under constant review. Strict security arrangements have been made, including webcasting, posting of Central Armed Police Force personnel and micro-observers.

He said discussions were held and an agreement had been reached with the Kanyakumari district administration to prohibit liquor sales in areas bordering Thiruvananthapuram 48 hours before the polling day. The gesture would be reciprocated with liquor sales being banned in areas in Thiruvananthapuram bordering Kanyakumari during the elections in Tamil Nadu. A review exercise had found that over 1,000 people had their names in the voters’ lists in Kerala as well asTamil Nadu, particularly in the border regions. These persons would be allowed to vote only once and not in both places.

Distribution of election equipment to the polling booths would begin at 12 centres at 9 a.m. on April 9. As for facilities for polling officials, Kudumbasree would operate food stalls near polling stations, while a health team with a doctor would be made available at the 12 distribution centres. Arrangements were made with Disha’s 1056 helpline for emergency medical services, while the 108 ambulance service too would be available. Campaigning will be wound up by 6 p.m. on Tuesday.