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Over 12 lakh voters to exercise franchise in Salem district

Special Correspondent
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Security arrangements in place for first phase of polling

Poll process: District election officer and Collector K. Maharabushanam (left) inspecting ballot boxes at Ayothiyapattinam Panchayat Union office on Sunday. — Photo: E. Lakshmi Narayanan
Poll process: District election officer and Collector K. Maharabushanam (left) inspecting ballot boxes at Ayothiyapattinam Panchayat Union office on Sunday. — Photo: E. Lakshmi Narayanan

All is set for today's first phase of local body polls in Salem district.

District Election Officer and Collector K Maharabushanam after inspecting the arrangements and ballot boxes at various centres said that everything had been taken care. The district's first phase of polls include Salem Corporation, Attur and Narasingapuram municipalities, 8 Panchayat Unions, 12 District Panchayat wards, 119 Union wards, 187 village presidents and 1526 village wards.

The polls will elect a Mayor for Salem Corporation and members for its 60 wards besides two municipal chairmen, 51 municipal councillors, 14 town panchayat presidents, 210 town panchayat ward members, 187 village panchayat presidents and 8 Union chairmen.

A total of 12,74,277 voters will exercise their franchise in 2,040 polling stations on Monday, including 5.68 lakh voters in Salem Corporation. Besides 5.23 lakh voters will elect their representatives in 8 unions also. Booth slips had also been distributed at doorsteps. He said that special steps were also taken to help physically challenged and aged to exercise their franchise easily at polling stations.

Kerala police

He also said that elaborate security arrangements had been made with police personnel from Kerala joining the local personnel for security. General public also can contact 0427-2414200 for any grievances. Voters should turn out 100 per cent for the polls, he said.

Election officer and Corporation Commissioner G Laxmi Priya also inspected booths in Salem Corporation limits while City Police Commissioner K Sokkalingam reviewed the security arrangements prior to polls with senior officials.

Namakkal Staff Reporter adds:

Collector and District Election Officer J. Kumaragurubaran said that all materials required for the first phase of polling in the district on Monday for the local body polls have been taken to respective polling centres on Sunday.

After inspecting the polling booths at Mallasamudram, Kumarapalayam and Tiruchengode on Sunday, the DEO told The Hindu that the number of sensitive booths in the district has been increased to 278, from 141 as it earlier.

According to him, 137 more booths were added as sensitive. “Polling stations with four or more booths, urban booths with more than 1,000 voters and rural booths with over 750 voters have been classified as sensitive. Mr. Kumaragurubaran said that over Rs. 9 lakh has been allotted for video surveillance. Polling on Monday will be held in 1,198 booths, including 150 sensitive booths, of the total 2,285 booths in the district.

Polling materials for the most inaccessible booths in the district at Kelur, Melur and Kedamalai in Kelur Panchayat at Venanthur Union in Rasipuram Taluk were carried atop the hills on Sunday morning. Officials said that there are a total 1,022 voters, 511 male and an equal number of female voters, in those booths.

Superintendent of Police (SP) Pravesh Kumar said that nearly 2,000 personnel, including about 1,000 local police, 200 Tamil Nadu Special Police, 100 striking force personnel from Kerala would be involved in the security arrangements during the polls. Non-police personnel on polling duty, include 300 ex-servicemen, 134 Home Guard, 34 retired police, 200 NSS and 55 NCC volunteers.

The SP said that on the day of polling a total 97 mobile patrol teams would be deployed for the first phase of elections, in addition to 37 striking force teams, one each headed by the SP, two Additional Superintendents of Police, eight Deputy Superintendents of Police and 25 Inspectors.

The four Municipalities where polling will be held on Monday are: Rasipuram, Tiruchengode, Kumarapalayam and Pallipalayam. Panchayat Unions where elections would be held on that day are: Elachipalayam, Mallasamudram, Namagiripettai, Pallipalayam, Rasipuram, Tiruchengode and Venanthur.

Polling would also be held at the following Town Panchayats on Monday: Alampalayam, Athanur, Mallasamudram, Namagiripettai, Padavedu, Patanam, Pillanallur, R.Pudupatti, Seerapalli and Venanthur.


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