25 lakh people to cast votes in 4,080 booths in Malappuram district today

More than 25 lakh voters in Malappuram district will exercise their franchise in the three-tier local body elections on Monday. They will vote in 4,080 polling stations to decide the fate of 8,072 candidates contesting in 2,439 wards of 100 grama panchayats, 15 block panchayats, seven municipalities and the district panchayat.

Malappuram has the largest electorate in the State (25.83 lakh). Of them, 13.42 lakh are women.

As many as 8,833 security personnel had been deployed in the district, District Police Superintendent K. Sethuraman said. Malappuram has the most number of polling booths in the State. As many as 1,719 buildings had been used. Polling will begin at 7 a.m. and continue till 5 p.m. Both the United Democratic Front (UDF) and the Left Democratic Front (LDF) continued silent campaigns on Sunday trying best to persuade neutral voters.

Both Fronts put up confident faces on Sunday. The UDF was in power at 72 grama panchayats, 11 block panchayats, three municipalities and the district panchayat.

With Kottakkal and Nilambur panchayats having been upgraded as municipalities, the UDF is hoping to wrest at least five of the seven municipal councils in the district. The LDF too is concentrating on the municipalities in the district.

The election cell functioning at the District Police Superintendent's office is overseen by Deputy Superintendents (DySP) A.S. Raju and P. Prasannan.

As many as eight DySPs, 40 Circle Inspectors, 767 sub-inspectors and assistant sub-inspectors, and 3,500 constables will be on poll duty in the district. Police personnel will be deployed in 175 groups to man the booths. There will be 14 groups of security personnel in Tirur police station limits. One security group will take care of 15 to 30 polling booths.

As many as 254 booths in the district had been identified as sensitive. The Election Commission had identified 50 vulnerable polling stations in the district. They are spread in 15 panchayats and the municipalities of Ponnani and Manjeri. More security personnel will be deployed at the vulnerable polling booths, sources said.

Ex-service men and NCC cadets will also be on duty. Seven DySPs, 22 Circle Inspectors, 7 Motor Vehicle Inspectors, 12 assistant motor vehicle inspectors, 214 sub-inspectors and assistant sub-inspectors, 1,742 constables and 792 police trainees from outside the district will also be pressed into service.

As many as 20 excise guards, seven foresters, and 46 guards too had been deployed.

In Palakkad

Staff Reporter writes from Palakkad: Votes polled for the local body elections on October 25 will be counted in18 centres, including the one for postal votes, in the district on October 27.

The postal votes will be counted at the Civil Station. Votes of local bodies coming under each block panchayat will be counted in the following centres. Thrithala block: Vattenadu Government Vocational Higher Secondary School; Pattambi: Sree Neelakhanda Government Sanskrit College; Ottappalam: N.S.S Training College; Sreekrishnapuram: Government Higher Secondary School; Mannarkkad: Kalladi Higher Secondary School; Attappady: Government Vocational Higher Secondary School, Agali; Palakkad: Government Victoria College; Kuzhalmannam: Chami Iyer Higher Secondary School; Chittur: Government College; Kollengode: Brahmananda Swami Shivayogi Higher Secondary School; Nemmara: Government Boys Higher Secondary School; Alathur: Government Girls Higher Secondary School and Malampuzha: Government Victoria College. The counting in municipalities will be held at these centres. Shoranur: St. Thomas Convent Higher Secondary School; Ottappalam: N.S.S. Girls Higher Secondary School; Palakkad: Municipality office and Chittur-Thathamangalam: Municipality office.

Polling materials were distributed from 17 centres on Sunday. The materials for Palakkad and Malampuzha block panchayats were distributed at Government Victoria College in the presence of Election Observer Sheik Pareeth and District Collector K.V. Mohan Kumar.