557 polling stations in Pondicherry

PONDICHERRY, FEB. 26. The Department of Elections has rationalised the number of polling stations in the Union Territory. There will be 557 polling booths in Pondicherry, Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam regions in the Lok Sabha elections.

The Assistant Returning Officer, G. Theva Needhi Dhas, after demonstrating the working of EVMs (Electronic Voting Machines), told newspersons that prior to rationalisation there were 778 booths. Now, every booth would have on an average 1,500 voters. Each booth would have four staff members including the presiding officer.

The election machinery had been equipped with sufficient number of EVMs. Extra machines to the extent of 12 per cent of the total number of booths would be available for any exigency, he said.

The election authorities would demonstrate the operation of the machines at some permanent centres in urban and rural areas. Mobile units would bring to focus the procedure to be adopted while casting votes. Training had already been given for the primary wing of the staff.

Later, Mr. Dhas held demonstrations on handling the EVMs at a meeting with the representatives of political parties.

`Pamphlet or poster must carry details'

The District Collector-cum-Returning Officer, V. Candavelou, has said that as per the requirements of the Representation of the People Act 1951 no election pamphlet or poster should be printed without the name and address of the printer and the publisher.

The owners of printing press units had already been instructed to adhere to the provisions of the Act and before undertaking printing of any election-related pamphlet or poster the printer must obtain from the publisher a declaration in prescribed pro-forma and it should be signed by the publisher and attested by two persons to whom the publisher is personally known, the Additional District Magistrate-cum-Assistant Returning Officer, G. Ragesh Chandra, said today in a release.

The printer must furnish four copies of the printed material along with the declaration within three days of the printing thereof along with the pro-forma prescribed.

The Returning Officer said any violation would result in revocation of the licence of the press owner.