Elaborate arrangements in place for polling in Andhra Pradesh

To accommodate young voters, the EC directed all educational institutions to refrain from conducting examinations from May 12 to 14.
Wine shops were closed as the silence period began on Saturday ahead of elections on May 13;
Wine shops were closed as the silence period began on Saturday ahead of elections on May 13;

VIJAYAWADA: Chief Electoral Officer Mukesh Kumar Meena announced that polling hours for the majority of the 175 Assembly constituencies in the State will run from 7 am to 6 pm, except for six constituencies.

In Palakonda, Kurupam, and Salur, polling will take place from 7 am to 5 pm, while in Araku Valley, Paderu, and Rampachodavaram, it will be from 7 am to 4 pm. Meena also highlighted that over 10 lakh first-time voters are expected to participate in the simultaneous Assembly and Parliament elections.

To accommodate young voters, the EC directed all educational institutions to refrain from conducting examinations from May 12 to 14.

Regarding enforcement measures, Meena said a total of Rs 269.28 crore worth of cash, liquor, precious metals, and freebies were seized after the Election Schedule was released on March 16. Polling will be held across 46,389 polling stations, with webcasting planned for 75% of them.

The silence period, beginning 48 hours before the end of the poll, commenced at 6 pm on Saturday and will conclude at 6 pm on May 13, except for three constituencies where it began at 4 pm on Saturday and ends at 4 pm on May 13, and three others where it will be from 5 pm on Saturday to 5 pm on Monday.

A worker seen 
taking out loudspeakers 
from a campaign 
vehicle in Vijayawada
A worker seen taking out loudspeakers from a campaign vehicle in Vijayawada Photo I Prasant Madugula

During this period, a dry day has been declared, and Section 144 of the CrPC will be enforced to ban unlawful assemblies and public meetings, with restrictions on loudspeakers. Meena emphasised the necessity for campaign workers from outside the constituency to leave immediately after the campaign period ends.

Measures have also been implemented to prevent voter impersonation, including monitoring hotels, lodges, and community halls, and prohibiting bulk SMSs and political advertisements on cinema, television, or similar platforms during the silence period. However, political advertisements can be published in print media on the day of the poll and the pre-poll day with pre-certification.

Voters will not be restricted from moving within or into the State during the pre-poll period, and special arrangements have been made at polling stations to provide shade, water, seating, and medical aid to voters. On the poll day, no electioneering will be allowed within 200 metres of polling stations, and public transport for essential services will remain undisturbed. Additionally, observers and authorised officials will be permitted to use mobile or wireless sets within 100 metres of polling stations.

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