The Union Territory of Puducherry will go to polls on April 24, Election Commission of India (ECI) announced on Wednesday.
Announcing the schedule for the lone Lok Sabha seat, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) T Sreekanth, IAS, said the notification will be issued on March 29 and the last date for filing nominations will be April 5. The scrutiny of nominations will be held on April 7 and the last date for withdrawal of candidature will be April 9. The elections will be held on April 24 and the results announced on May 16.
District electoral officer and collector, Dr S B Deepak Kumar IAS and additional CEO, Pankaj Kumar Jha, were also present.
Giving details of the electorate, Sreekanth said the total number of electors as per the 2014 summary revision is 8,85,925 (male 4,24,958, female 4,60,488, others 12 and service voters 467). The total electors also include 56 NRIs, he added.
The CEO said the ongoing updating of the rolls will continue till the last date for filing nominations and the electors can include their name by approaching the office of the EROs or through the website www.ceopondicherry.nic.in.
Applications for inclusion will be accepted till the last date of filing nominations, the CEO said.
To facilitate voters to ensure that their names are there in the electoral roll, a special camp will be held throughout the country on March 9. Puducherry will hold another special camp for this on March 23, said Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) T Sreekanth.
The CEO said the UT had a distinction of 100 per cent photo electoral and 100 per cent Electors Photo Identity Card(EPIC) coverage and hence, identity proof for voting has been restricted to EPIC or voters slip issued by the Elections Department.
Alternate ID Proof
The voters slip in respective regional language with the colour photo and route map to the polling station on its back side will be distributed to all the voters at their door steps one week before the poll date. The voter slip will be the only alternative identity proof in lieu of EPIC. In case of NRIs, the proof of identity will be their passport.
The CEO said first level check and first randomisation of all Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) have been completed. The second randomisation will be done for allocation to the respective polling station in the presence of general observers and candidates of election agents. Sreekanth said the ECI has been requested to appoint four general observers, one for each region, and one expenditure observer for the entire UT and their appointment is awaited.
A total of 6,000 personnel will be deployed for poll duty apart from police and Central Armed Military Force (CAMF), Sreekanth added.
“The polling day happenings in all the 905 polling stations will be webcast. The events and poll date will be captured online and IP cameras will be installed outside all the 31 critical polling stations identified. The ECI has approved student polling officers services to assist the presiding officers,” he said.
District Election Officer, Dr Deepak Kumar, said strict action will be taken against persons involved in attempting to distribute money, he added.
Pointing out that Puducherry had been identified as expenditure-sensitive, CEO Sreekanth said as many as 120 sector officers had been appointed to monitor the expenditure and 36 flying squads, 4 supervisory squads had also been formed for the purpose. He said the ECI will announce the increased limit in expenditure for candidates shortly.
The Mahe, Yanam regions will have two separate presiding officers and the counting will be simultaneously carried out in all the four regions of the UT on May 16, he added. Sreekanth said the single window clearance had been put in place for getting permissions for meetings and rallies.