Micro observers to monitor polling at 103 hypersensitive booths
All is set for the first phase of the local bodies in Tiruchi district on Monday, with the electronic voting machines and other polling materials being moved to the respective polling stations on Sunday.
Electronic voting machines for the Tiruchi Corporation, the Manapparai and Thuvakudi municipalities, Koothapar, Ponnapatti and Sirugamani town panchayats and the ballot papers and other polling materials for the Andhanallur, Manapparai, Manikandam, Marungapuri, Tiruverambur and Vaiyampatti panchayat unions were transported to the respective polling stations under police escort by around 125 zonal teams. As many as 6,275 candidates are in the fray for 1,557 positions in various local bodies that go to the polls in the first phase. About 12,000 polling personnel would be deployed for conducting the first phase of the elections in the district.
Collector Jayashree Muralidharan, who addressed a press conference on the eve of the elections, said all arrangements have been complete for the first phase. Booths slips, issued by the State Election Commission, have been distributed to 97 per cent of the voters in the town panchayat and municipal areas; to 96 per cent of voters in the rural areas and to 92 per cent of the voters in the Corporation areas till Sunday morning. Those who have not received the slips, can collect the same from counters in front of the polling stations.
Micro observers would monitor the polling in 103 hypersensitive booths in 34 locations in the districts. Of these, 100 booths were in the Tiruchi Corporation limits. This apart, 369 polling stations have been identified as sensitive across the district where web cameras have been installed. Live streaming of the polling would be made in places where connectivity was available and in places wherever connectivity was not there, the polling would be fully recorded. In Corporation limits, college students would be deployed for handling the web cameras while in the rural areas computer operators of the Education for All scheme have been roped in.
Apart from the local police, two companies of Maharashtra police would provide the security cover for the election. The police from Maharashtra would be used as ‘striking forces.' Each polling booth would have at least one uniformed personnel and in sensitive booths, an officer in the rank of Sub-Inspector would be on duty.
Answering a query on the complaint from some residents of Uppilliyapuram Town Panchayats that their names have been shifted to other wards in the electoral rolls, Ms.Muralidharan said such a complaint have been made by about 30 persons, some of whom had applied for shifting. However, an enquiry has been ordered by the Revenue Divisional Officer, she said.
She also clarified that the indelible ink mark would be placed on the left middle finger of all voters in the Tiruchi Corporation limits. When pointed out that some voters were placed the ink in the middle finger in the recent by-election for Tiruchi West assembly constituency, Ms.Muralidharan said that about 36 voters have been placed the ink in their middle fingers in one particular booth in the constituency owing to confusion among the polling officials. However, the entire details of all such voters have been collected and all of them would be allowed to vote in the poll, she said.