Staff Reporter

For Tiruchendur Assembly constituency

Tuticorin: In a last-minute shuffle, the Election Commission of India has appointed V.K. Sharma, an Indian Administrative Service official, as Election Observer for Tiruchendur constituency, vice Ved Prakash Narayan Singh, who was shifted after being appointed EO.

Official sources told The Hindu that Mr Sharma, a 1994-batch IAS officer from Punjab cadre, would take charge on April 24.

The Election Observers and Expenditure Observers appointed for the forthcoming elections in the district were allocated individual/personal telephones and public could make complaints pertaining to the election process, if any, to them round-the-clock.

The Election Observers, with the name of their constituencies given inside the brackets, could be contacted in the following numbers: Usha Titus (Vilathikulam) - 0461-253077 and 9442445713; B.B. Sharma (Ottapidaram) - 0461-2353400 and 9443584089; Kunal Sharma (Kovilpatti) - 04632- 233048 and 9442445020; A.N. Safeena (Satankulam) - 04639-281617 and 9442445726; Nihal Chand Goel (Srivaikundam) - 04630-256247 and 9442994074; and V.K. Jha (Tuticorin) - 0461-2353022 and 9442445749.

Personal telephones would be allocated to the new appointed Election Observer for Tiruchendur Assembly segment, on his arrival in the constituency.

The contact numbers of the Expenditure Observers were as follows: Rajeev Jain, Expenditure Observer for Vilathikulam, Ottapidaram and Kovilpatti segments, could be contacted at 0461-2353600 (landline phone) and 9442445021 (mobile phone).

S.C. Baberia, Expenditure Observer for the remaining four Assembly segments in the district, would be available at 0461-2353759 (landline phone) and 9360504449 (mobile phone).

Fiat to officials

Meanwhile, the district administration warned that action would be taken against persons drafted for election duties under People's Representation Act 1951, if they refused to accept the appointment order or failed to attend poll duty, without any reasonable cause.

Similarly, if any government servant was found to have been acting as a polling agent or a counting agent, he would be imprisoned for a three month period.

Official sources said it had been decided to apply indelible ink as a line from top of the nail to the bottom of the first joint of the left fore finger, on the polling date, to prevent bogus voting.

"Till now, indelible ink has been applied as a dot on the joint between the nail and skin of the left fore finger of the electors," the sources added.