CHENNAI: Two months of heated campaigns, and days of anticipation later, it all comes down to this. Sunday is the day we know the State’s fate for the next five years. Will the sitting government bag another term or will the DMK, starved of power for a decade, usher in a new rule? Chief Electoral Officer Satyabrata Sahoo said that a total of 5.64 lakh postal votes have been received so far.
Speaking to reporters after attending a video meeting convened by Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra, along with CEOs of four other States that went to polls, Sahoo said, “Due to the second wave, 10 general observers and six returning officers of various constituencies have been changed and new officers have been appointed.” Additionally, a total of 5,622 CRPF personnel, 5,154 others from Tamil Nadu Special Police Force, as well as 25,059 police personnel have been deployed to ensure security at the 75 centres across the State.
Besides, 16,387 officials have been deployed for counting purpose. Speaking about preventive measures taken, the CEO said counting halls will be disinfected every two hours. It may be noted that the Election Commission had already announced that candidates and their agents will be let into the centres only after they produce Covid negative certificates and have taken two doses of vaccination. Besides, agents will not be allowed if their temperature is above 98.6 degrees.
Elaborating on the time to announce results, Sahoo said it would depend upon the number of booths. While Sholinganallur (Chennai district) has 991 booths, the highest in TN, Keelvelur (Nagapattinam district) has only 251 booths, the lowest. It is expected the entire results will be declared by midnight.
Meanwhile, the Chennai city police conducted a mock drill at four counting centres in the city Loyola College, Queen Mary’s College, Anna University and Madras Christian College on Saturday. DGP JK Tripathi monitored the arrangements. Over 3,000 police personnel have been deployed across city to avoid any untoward incidents. CCTV cameras have also been installed.