The Election Commission has announced 11-hour polling for Puducherry on April 24, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Chief Electoral Officer B. Sreekanth said on Thursday.
Till the last elections, the polling was only from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. But, there has now been a decision to extend the timings, he told reporters on Thursday.
In the past three days, there have been a total of 14 cases of violation of the model code of conduct. Of these, one was for distribution of free watermelons to fisherfolk in Kalapet by a private party and another against DMK candidate A.M.H. Nazeem for conducting a rally without permission. The rest were for defacement of public property. In Karaikal, two cases were booked by Excise teams - one for sale of liquor without proper licence and another for possession of goods without hologram. The total liquor seized was valued about Rs. 3.5 lakh, he said.
As regards political parties, all preparations for rallies and public meetings would be allowed to start 12 hours before the meeting and the area should be cleared within five hours of the end of the meeting.
Police have booked 183 people under various preventive sections of the Criminal Procedure Code as precaution. Three persons were booked under the Goondas Act last week, Senior Superintendent of Police (Law and Order) Omvir Singh said.
A total of 10 companies of Central Armed and Paramilitary Forces have been requested for the safe conduct of the elections. So far, two have been sanctioned and would arrive here on March 20, he said.