Kerala

Tight surveillance to be in place in Manjeswaram

Meena reviews arrangements

Manjeswaram, poised for a triangular byelection fight, will go to the polling booths on October 21 under tight vigil in view of the ‘bogus voting’ complaints that sprang up after the 2016 Assembly polls.

Chief Electoral Officer Teeka Ram Meena, who visited Kasaragod on Wednesday to review the bypoll arrangements, said live webcast would be arranged in 10% of the polling booths.

“Of the 198 polling booths in the constituency, 101 are considered sensitive. We plan to have live webcasts from 10% of the booths considered most sensitive and also from the booths near the State border with Karnataka,” Mr. Meena said.

Mr. Meena had decided to review the arrangements in person on account of the complaints raised in 2016. “This time we do not want to take any chances,” he said.

In 2016, BJP’s K. Surendran had lost to IUML’s P.B. Abdul Razak by 89 votes. The thin margin prompted Mr. Surendran to attribute the IUML victory to bogus voting.

Later, he filed an election petition in the court seeking Mr. Razak’s disqualification. Mr. Razak died in October 2018, necessitating the bypoll.

Candidates

A pitched battle is on the cards this time. The UDF has fielded M.C. Kamarudheen of the IUML against BJP’s Ravisha Thantri Kuntar and CPI(M)’s Shankar Rai. Five other candidates, including four Independents, are also in the fray.

On Wednesday, Mr. Meena held discussions with the district administration and senior district-level officers of the police and excise. He reviewed the arrangements for the deployment of special squads and patrols in the constituency. The border areas will be jointly patrolled by the police and excise to prevent cross-border smuggling of cash and liquor, he said.

Central forces

The Centre has released 10 companies of Central forces for the five constituencies in the State that have bypolls scheduled on October 21. The security deployment plan for the Central forces would be decided in consultation with State Police Chief Loknath Behera, Mr. Meena said.

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Printable version | Apr 9, 2020 6:18:25 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/tight-surveillance-to-be-in-place-in-manjeswaram/article29577759.ece

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