VIJAYAWADA: Informing that all the arrangements have been made for the conduct of by-election to Tirupati Lok Sabha seat on April 17, State Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) K Vijayanand said that as many as 2,470 polling stations have been arranged for 17.11 lakh voters in the Parliamentary constituency spread in Chittoor and Nellore districts.
Speaking to mediapersons at the Secretariat in Velagapudi on Thursday, Vijayanand said that for the first time, postal ballot facility was provided to people aged above 80 years. Stating that there are 22,743 voters aged more than 80 years, he said that mobile teams collected the postal ballots from those who evinced interest to cast their votes in their residences instead of exercising their franchise in the polling stations. He said that a polling station was arranged for every 1,000 voters instead of 1,500 voters because of the prevailing situation of Covid.
To ensure smooth conduct of the election, check posts have been arranged and borders of the Tirupati Parliamentary constituency have been sealed to restrict the movement of outsiders, he said. Stating that the Central Election Commissioner appointed three observers for the Tirupati by-election, he said as many as 816 micro observers were also appointed for the by-election.
The Central Election Commission has decided to exempt Village/Ward volunteers from election related responsibilities. Volunteers also should not act as election agents of contesting candidates.The CEO asserted that the election will be conducted strictly adhering to the Covid protocols. All the polling staff have already been administered the vaccine and other facilities like face masks, sanitisers will be provided to them.
Speaking on the occasion, Additional Director General Ravishankar Ayyanar said that foolproof security arrangements have been made for the by-election. He said that 23 companies of Central Armed forces have arrived and they will be deployed at the problematic polling stations.
Asserting that all the steps have been taken to control the flow of money and liquor in the elections, he said apart from arranging 52 checkposts, flying squads have been deployed to curb the menace. He said Rs 4.73 crore worth money and liquor were seized so far after notifying the by-election.