Erode (East) bypoll | Campaigning to end at 6 p.m. on February 25: Returning Officer

Returning officer K. Sivakumar also instructed parties to ensure all 107 temporary election offices were removed, and all cadre and functionaries who have come from other towns leave, by the evening of February 25, ahead of polling on Monday, February 27

Updated - February 25, 2023 08:55 am IST

Published - February 24, 2023 01:54 pm IST - ERODE

Election staff packing poll material for each booth in the Erode (East) constituency, on Thursday.

Election staff packing poll material for each booth in the Erode (East) constituency, on Thursday. | Photo Credit: M. Govarthan

The Returning Officer for the Erode (East) Assembly constituency byelection, K. Sivakumar, on Friday, said campaigning would end by 6 p.m. on Saturday, February 25, and asked outsiders to leave the constituency by that time. The byelection to the constituency is scheduled for February 27.

Addressing the media, Mr. Sivakumar said after 6 p.m. on Saturday, parties and candidates should not be involved in campaigns. Functionaries, cadres and people who have come from other places to campaign in the constituency should leave by 6 p.m.

“All the 107 temporary election offices should also be removed,” he said and added that various steps are being taken to ensure polling takes place in a free and fair manner.

Electronic voting machines (EVMs) and poll materials will be dispatched to the polling booths on February 26 and polling teams are in place for the process, he said. After polling, reception officers will receive the machines at the Government College of Engineering (formerly IRTT) at Chithode and place them in the strong room, he said.

The College will function as the counting centre. All vehicles transporting poll materials have been fitted with the GPS devices and training has been provided to the counting staff, he said.

725 election-related complaints received

Mr. Sivakumar said 725 election-related complaints have been received so far, and 75 cases were registered by the police. Based on complaints by the flying surveillance teams (FSTs), the police registered another 41 cases for violation of the model code of conduct (MCC).

Asked about complaints of distribution of cash and gift items to electors, he said most of the complaints were not specific, and many people had refused to admit that they had received cash or gift items. “FSTs are conducting inquiries and based on these complaints, cases will be registered,” he added.

The Returning Officer said though 32 vulnerable polling booths have been identified of the total 238 polling stations, they are not politically sensitive. “Additional paramilitary personnel will be posted. besides micro-observers and web cameras to monitor the poll process,” he said.

Mr. Sivakumar also said 12 officers of FSTs and static surveillance teams (SSTs) were served show-cause notices for not being in places allotted to them during changeover of shifts.

The counting of votes is to be on March 2.

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