Special Correspondent

A report has been sent to government, says Chandrasekaran

TIRUCHI: The State Election Commission has forwarded a report to the government suggesting the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) in elections to rural local bodies, State Election Commissioner D. Chandrasekaran said here on Friday.

The Commission had sought about Rs.196 crore for the purpose and the request was being considered by the government, he told reporters after chairing a meeting to review the arrangements for by-elections to be held for various local bodies in the district next month.

“We have already introduced EVMs in elections to urban local bodies. But the State had over 12,600 rural local bodies and conducting elections for them is a massive exercise. The use of EVMs will help in a big way,” Mr. Chandrasekaran said.

He disclosed that by-elections to a total of 653 vacant positions in various urban and rural local bodies across the State would be held in September, the schedule of which would be announced soon.

By-elections are to be held for 602 vacant positions in rural local bodies and 51 in urban local bodies. Among the urban local bodies, by-elections would be held for two wards in the Chennai Corporation and one in Madurai. Seven ward vacancies in municipalities, five in III grade municipalities and 36 in town panchayats would also be filled. Among the rural local bodies, by-elections would be held for 547 village panchayat wards, 41 panchayat presidents, 12 panchayat union wards and two district panchayat wards.

In Tiruchi district, by-elections would be held for 13 panchayat wards and one ward in Pullampadi Town Panchayat.

The ward in Pullampadi, a reserved one for Scheduled Tribe, had not received any nomination in successive elections. The ward was said to have no resident from the community.

Answering a query in this regard, Mr. Chandrasekaran observed that the members of the community could have migrated and he had requested the Collector to visit the place to find a solution.