14 candidates are in the fray, elaborate security arrangements made

The stage is set for polling in Udupi-Chikmagalur constituency on Sunday.

Polling will begin at 8 a.m. and conclude at 5 p.m. There are 12, 53,580 voters in the constituency. Of them, 6, 42,284 are women.

Elaborate security arrangements have been made to ensure free and fair polling under the supervision of superintendents of police of Udupi and Chikmagalur districts.

A total of 416 police officers, 2,843 police personnel, 1,361 Home Guards and 10 companies of Central Para Military Force (CPMF), 24 Karnataka State Reserve Police (KSRP) platoons, 26 platoons of District Armed Reserve platoons have been pressed into service in the constituency. Of the 1,633 polling stations in the constituency, 731 are in Udupi district and 902 in Chikmagalur district. There are 77 stations in the naxal-affected areas. As many as 231 stations have been classified as hypersensitive and 788 as sensitive.

Each polling station in the naxal-affected area is manned by an assistant sub-inspector, one head constable, two constables and one armed party will be attached to it. The hypersensitive stations are manned by a head constable, a constable and a home guard.

Polling officials

Deputy Commissioner M.T. Reju, who is also the returning officer for Udupi-Chikmagalur parliamentary constituency, told The Hindu on Saturday that 10,000 polling officials would be facilitating the polling process in 1,633 polling stations. He said mustering and de-mustering centres in Udupi district were St. Cecily's School for Udupi and Kaup Assembly segments, Kota Degree College for Kundapur Assembly segment and Taluk Office for Karkala Assembly segment. Polling officials had left for polling stations assigned to them with electronic voting machines, he added.

Mr. Reju said 672 micro-observers had been put in-charge of sensitive and hypersensitive polling stations. Ninety-eight per cent of voters in the constituency had electoral photo identity cards (EPICs). “Over 85 per cent of voters have been given voters' slips by the Election Commission in the constituency,” he added.

Those having these slips need not bring any other document as proof to cast their votes.

Those who did not possess these slips or EPICs could bring any one of the 21 alternative documents prescribed by the Election Commission, he said.

Fourteen candidates are in the fray for the byelection, including K. Jayaprakash Hegde of the Congress, V. Sunil Kumar of the Bharatiya Janata Party, S.L. Bhoje Gowda of the Janata Dal (Secular), and K. Bharat of Janata Dal (United).

  • There are 12,53,580 voters in the constituency

  • 231 polling stations classified as hypersensitive