Local body polls for U.T. announced

State Election Commissioner Roy P. Thomas, second from right, at a press meet in Puducherry on Wednesday.  

Local body elections in the Union Territory will be held on October 21, 25 and 28. Counting of votes will be held on October 31.

Elections will be held to appoint chairpersons for five municipalities, 116 ward councillors in the municipalities, 108 council ward members of commune panchayats, 108 village panchayat presidents and 812 ward members of village panchayats after a gap of 10 years.

State Election Commissioner Roy P. Thomas said polls would be held first for the municipalities of Karaikal, Yanam, Mahe and commune panchayats of Kottucherry, Nedungadu, Neravy, Thirumalairayanpattinam and Thirunallar in Karaikal region of the Union Territory on October 21. As many as 2,305,02 people, spread across 364 polling stations in the three enclaves, would vote in the first phase.

The second phase would be held on October 25 for the Pondicherry and Oulgaret municipalities. As many as 4,441,99 people would cast their votes in 631 polling stations in the two urban bodies. The final phase would be held to elect the representatives of Ariyankuppam, Bahour, Mannadipet, Nettapakkam and Villianur commune panchayats in Puducherry region on October 28.

The last date for filing of nominations in the first phase has been scheduled for October 7, second phase on October 11 and third phase on October 15. The polling hours will be 7 a.m to 6 p.m with the last one hour set aside for COVID-19 patients and persons with symptoms of novel coronavirus, Mr. Thomas said.

With the announcement, the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) has come into force with immediate effect. The details of Model Code of Conduct, electoral rolls, polling stations, contact details of officers concerned are available on https://sec.py.gov.in.

No processions

Considering the prevailing situation arising out of the pandemic, the Commission wanted voters, candidates, their agents and all officials involved in the election process to get vaccinated. Further, as a precautionary measure, the SEC has decided to ban processions, roadshows, street plays and rallies. However, public meetings and house-to-house campaign would be allowed with strict restrictions.

In order to avoid crowding, the Commission had facilitated online filing of nominations. COVID-19-infected candidates could also file nominations online. An announcement of the schedule for indirect elections for the post of vice-chairman of municipalities, chairman of commune panchayats, vice-chairman of commune panchayat council and vice-president of village panchayat in communes would be made after the results of direct elections were announced, the SEC said.

The Union Territory has a chequered history of local body elections. After a gap of 38 years and through the intervention of the court, elections were held in 2006.

The tenure of the local bodies came to an end in 2011 and the elections were delayed due to various factors. The Supreme Court had on April 5, this year, directed the government and SEC to hold the polls within six months. “We were supposed to complete the schedule as per Supreme Court directions by October 5 but there is a 26-day delay. We will file a petition in the court explaining the reasons for the delay. Lot of preparatory works have to be carried out as there was no SEC in place for several years. The delimitation exercise was completed recently,” Mr Roy said. Officers on special duty Ravideep Singh Chahar, Arjun Ramakrishnan, secretary to SEC (headquarters) Vanjulavalli Sridhar and consultant, SEC, R. Chandirashekharan were also present at the press conference.

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Printable version | Oct 29, 2021 3:46:24 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/local-body-polls-for-ut-announced/article36621581.ece

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