3 LS and 15 Assembly constituencies will go to polls on May 7

Arrangements for conducting the General Elections to the Lok Sabha and AP Assembly in the district on May 7 are almost complete, Collector and District Election Officer S. Solomon Arokia Raj informed at a press conference here on Saturday.

Polling for three Lok Sabha constituencies of Visakhapatnam, Anakapalle and part of Araku along with 15 Assembly segments will be conducted in the district. Counting of votes will take place on May 16. Election notification was issued on Saturday and Returning Officers started receiving nomination papers from candidates. Last day for filing nominations is April 19 and for withdrawals, April 23. Nominations will not be accepted on Sunday and on April 14 and 18 due to holidays.

There are 32,22,884 voters in the district, including 3,299 service voters. The total includes 179 others (Hijras).

Mr. Arokia Raj, who addressed the press conference along with Joint Collector Pravin Kumar, DRO M. Venkateswara Rao and CEO of ZPP M. Maheswara Reddy, said the people and polling staff cooperated well with the administration in the just concluded polling in the ZPTC and MPTC elections and expected the same for the General Elections. He assured that the elections would be conducted in a fair, impartial and transparent manner. The budget for elections was Rs. 29 crore and so far Rs. 6 crore was released by the Government.

Apart from the 3,614 polling stations, 108 auxiliary polling stations have been proposed. These were proposed at the polling stations where the number of voters has crossed 1,600 at a booth.

Plans were being made to arrange webcasting from 1,000 to 1,500 polling stations. An officer was specially designated to ensure proper drinking water supply, shamianas, power supply, and other facilities at all polling stations.

Paramedical staff would be stationed at 1,947 locations. It was also being proposed to appoint a NSS volunteer, a Scout or an Ex-Serviceman at every polling station to make voters stand in the queue and supply drinking water to them.

Regarding EPICs to voters, Mr. Arokia Raj said out of the around 1.40 lakh new applications, only 34,000 were now in the processing stage. The process would be completed by April 15 and the names of eligible voters would be included in the voters’ list by April 19. Photo voter slips would be distributed from April 24 at every house. The Booth Level Officer would be available at the polling booth to hand over the photo voter slip if the voter was not available at his or her house on the day the slips were distributed.

More In: Visakhapatnam