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Arrangements complete; first phase of polls today

Special Correspondent
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4,86,512 voters expected to vote in Ramanathapuram district

Final preparations: Ballot boxes being loaded onto a vehicle for transporting them to the polling booths in Ramanathapram on Sunday. — Photo: L. Balachandar
Final preparations: Ballot boxes being loaded onto a vehicle for transporting them to the polling booths in Ramanathapram on Sunday. — Photo: L. Balachandar

The stage is set for the first phase of elections to the local bodies in the district, which will begin at 8 a.m. and continue till 5 p.m. without any interval on Monday.

Three municipalities such as Ramanathapuram, Rameswaram and Kilakarai, six panchayat unions such as Ramanathapuram, Mandapam, Thiruppullani, Thiruvadanai, R.S. Mangalam and Nainarkoil, and Thondi, Mandapam and R.S. Mangalam town panchayats will witness poll.

As many as 1,035 booths have been established in the areas, where elections will be held in the first phase. More than 8,000 officials have been drafted for the election related duty.

Besides the State and Central government officials, teachers, lecturers and professors working in private schools and colleges have also been drafted for poll duty for the first time.

Collector V. Arun Roy said 4,86,512 voters would exercise their franchise on Monday.

Elaborate arrangements have been made in all polling stations and 139 booths have been classified as sensitive booths based on poll-related incidents and riots in the past.

Election materials had been moved to all booths in the district.

While electronic voting machines will be used for the elections to the municipalities and town panchayats, ballot papers will be used for the rural local bodies.

Additional EVMs had also been sent to various zonal headquarters in order to replace them in case of emergency situations.

Most of the presiding officers and other polling staff had started reporting from the respective booths.

He added that those who didn't receive voters' slips and possessed voters' identity cards could bring 14 documents including driving license, passports, PAN card to exercise their franchise.

The Superintendent of Police, Mahesh Kumar, said tight security arrangements were made to ensure incident-free elections.

Policemen had already reached their respective spots.

Sivaganga

Collector V. Rajaraman, who is also the District Election Officer, said free and fair polling would be held in the district on Monday.

He said arrangements had already been completed for the first phase of elections in which polling would be conducted for Sivaganga municipality, four town panchayats such as Ilayangudi, Manamadurai, Nattarasankottai and Thirubuvanam, and 5 town panchayats such as Ilayangudi, Kalayarkoil, Manamadurai, Sivaganga and Thirubuvanam.

A total of 1,000 polling booths had been established for the first phase of elections. Over 8,000 personnel would be involved for poll duty.

The elections would be held without break.

While in the rural panchayat areas each voter would have to exercise four votes, in municipal and town panchayats, each voter would vote for chairman and ward member.

Team

The Superintendent of Police, M. Panneerselvam, said polling stations, which had multiple booths, would be with a team of police personnel, Home Guard and Ex-service men.

Mobile parties had also been formed to reach the troubled spots as quickly as possible.

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