A number of VIPs set to vote in the district

Polling equipment, including ballot boxes and electronic voting machines, were on Sunday dispatched to the 2,572 polling booths in the district for the election on Monday.

The process, which began at 8 a.m. in 17 centres across the district, 12 at the block panchayat-level and five at the municipality level, was over by 5 p.m. with the polling officials heading to their respective booths. District Collector P. Venugopal, who visited the distribution centres at the Government Girls' Higher Secondary School, Alappuzha, the Kalavoor Government Higher Secondary School and the St. Michael's College at Cherthala, said all arrangements were in place for the smooth conduct of the polls.

Voting in the panchayats would have the ballot paper system while that in the municipalities would have the electronic voting machines.

District Superintendent of Police A. Akbar, who visited various sensitive booths in the district, including the one at Vezhapra Government Upper Primary School and another one at the Ramankary NSS Higher Secondary School, said the entire police force deputed for the security arrangements were already in position.

There would 131 patrol groups moving around in specified distances to ensure that not more that 15 minutes would be required to reach any polling booth in case of any untoward incident, he said.

Meanwhile, the district's voters' list for Monday will have some of the most known names in the State, starting from Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan.

Mr. Achuthanandan, who has his name in the electoral lists of Ward 8 of the Punnapra North panchayat, will cast his vote in the polling booth at the Punnapra Panchayat Community Hall at 10 a.m..

Union Minister for Indian Affairs Overseas Vayalar Ravi, will vote at the St. Sebastian's School of Ward 8 of the Vayalar grama panchayat.

Coir and Cooperation Minister G.Sudhakaran, who will vote at the Chinmaya School close to his residence in the Punnapra North panchayat, and Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac, who will vote at the Kalavoor NSS Karayogam Hall, are also among the ‘VIP' voters in the district.

KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala, veteran politician K.R. Gouri and SNDP Yogam general secretary Vellappally Natesan also will be among Monday's voters here.

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