The union territory to have 905 polling stations

The Union Territory of Puducherry will witness a single-day poll on April 24, along with the neighbouring State of Tamil Nadu.

Releasing the schedule of general elections to the Puducherry constituency, 2014, about an hour after the Election Commission of India (ECI) made the nationwide announcement, the Chief Electoral Officer of Puducherry, T. Sreekanth, told a crowded press conference here on Wednesday that his endeavour was to ensure “free and fair” elections. The election machinery would use all its resources to prevent the influence of money and muscle power in deciding the outcome of elections, he added.

While stating that the Union Territory of Puducherry had been identified by the Election Commission of India (ECI) as one among the ‘expenditure-sensitive’ States and Union Territories, he said that proposal had been sent to the ECI to dispatch one company of central forces to check unaccounted transport of money. The model code of conduct will come into effect from April 5, and would be in force until the completion of election process. It would be applied to political parties, candidates and the territorial government, Mr. Sreekanth said.

He added the notification for the elections would be issued on March 29 and the nominations would be accepted till April 5 (except on Sundays). The scrutiny of nominations would be taken on April 7, and April 9 would be the last date for withdrawal of candidature.

Counting of votes would be held on May 10. As many as 8,85,925 voters (male-4,24,958 and female-4,60,488) had become eligible, as per the summary revision, to exercise their franchise in the general elections, 2014. However, updation of the rolls would continue till the last date for filing nominations. Electors could include their names either by approaching the office of Electoral Registration Officers concerned or through online by visiting the website www.ceopondicherry.nic.in.

There would be four General Observers for the Union Territory of Puducherry, one for each region, and one Expenditure Observer. While the General Observers would keep close watch on every stage of electoral process, the Expenditure Observes would reach Puducherry on the date of notification to monitor election expenditure by candidates and parties.

Elaborating on preparations of conducting the elections, he said the UT would have 905 polling stations. It had a stock of about 2000 Electronic Voting Machines with real-time clock by the Bharat Electronics Limited. There would be two stages of randomisation in the presence of political parties.

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