Tamil Nadu

4 districts gear up for urban local body polls

Enforcing model code:  Corporation workers removing wall posters for the upcoming local body elections in Vellore.

Enforcing model code: Corporation workers removing wall posters for the upcoming local body elections in Vellore.

The district administration in Vellore, Tiruvannamalai, Ranipet and Tirupattur districts are gearing up for the upcoming election to the urban local bodies (ULB), which will be held on February 19, with flying squads and special police teams in place for enforcing the Model Code of Conduct (MCC).

Together, Tiruvannamalai and Ranipet have formed 84 special teams (42 in each) to enforce the MCC. Round-the-clock helpline numbers –04175 - 233616; 04175- 233023– were also launched at the Collectorate in Tiruvannamalai, with a control room to receive complaints from residents on election-related rule violations.

“A total of 27 election officers, including 20 assistant election officers, were selected to receive and scrutinise nominations and other works, like preparing the list of final candidates in the district,” said Amar Kushwaha, District Election Officer (DEO) of Tirupattur. Friday was the first day for filing nominations for the ULB polls. However, only one nomination for municipal councillor in Ambur municipality (Tirupattur), was filed. A total of 42 local bodies, consisting of 16 municipalities, 25 town panchayats and one corporation (Vellore City Corporation), comprising 912 wards in these districts, will go for polls on February 19.

12.29 lakh voters

Among the four districts, Tiruvannmalai and Ranipet have the highest number of ULBs –14 in each. In total, around 12.92 lakh voters, including 6.59 lakh women, will cast their votes for the elections.

District election officials have outlined a series of measures to be followed by candidates, political parties, officials, police and voters for the elections. They were discussed at the all-party meeting, held in the respective districts on Friday. Election campaigns are prohibited in places of worship; only two persons along with the candidate are allowed for door-to-door campaign; campaigns can be held in-doors after the approval of the district election officer and police; outdoor campaigns are not allowed, especially in Ranipet, till January 31; online campaigns are encouraged.

Candidates and their supporters must strictly adhere to COVID-19 norms like wearing of face masks, maintaining physical distancing, thermal scanning and hand washing. Also, only two persons along with the candidate were allowed to file nominations. Likewise, only three vehicles should be used by each candidate for the campaign. Flying squads and special police teams will monitor candidates’ adherence to the guidelines.

Counting on February 22

Officials said the filing of nominations for the single-phase poll will commence from January 28 and continue until February 4. The nomination papers will be scrutinised on February 5, and February 7 will be the last day for withdrawing the nominations. The counting of votes will be on February 22 and and results will be announced the same day.

Indirect elections for the posts of Mayor and Deputy Mayor; chairperson and vice chairperson of municipalities, will be held on March 4. The newly elected members will assume office on March 2.

Arrangements have been made to ensure that COVID-19-positive persons too exercise their franchise, towards the close of the election day. The MCC has come into force from Wednesday.

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Printable version | May 19, 2022 3:31:11 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/4-districts-gear-up-for-urban-local-body-polls/article38341430.ece