VILLUPURAM/KALLAKURUCHI: District administrations are all set to conduct the first phase of local body election at eleven Panchayat Unions Ward limits in Villupuram and Kallakurichi on Wednesday.
The 6,097 posts in Villupuram district include 28 district panchayat ward members, 293 panchayat union ward members, 688 village panchayat presidents, and 5,088 village panchayat ward members. Filing of nominations started on September 15 and ended on 22. After scrutiny, 22 village panchayat presidents and 357 village panchayat ward members were elected unopposed.
As many as 19,982 persons will be contesting for 5,715 posts in Villupuram district. In the first phase, election will take place in Gingee, Kandamangalam, Mugaiyur, Olakkur, Thiruvennainallur, Vanur, and Vikrawandi panchayat union limits. The district administration has arranged 1,569 polling booths and appointed 13,074 persons for poll duties. In this first phase, 10,873 persons will be contesting for 3,297 posts.
In Kallakurichi, the 3,773 posts include 19 district panchayat ward members, 180 panchayat union ward members, 412 village panchayat presidents, and 3,162 village panchayat ward members. After scrutiny, 487, including two district panchayat ward members, two panchayat union ward members, 29 village panchayat presidents, and 453 village panchayat ward members elected unopposed.
Among the total 939 polling booths, 81 are listed as critical booths, followed by 84 vulnerable booths. CCTV facilities had been set up at all the booths, official sources said. District Election Officer and Collector P N Sridhar said: “The public must not be scared of Covid-19 as ample safety measures have been taken to prevent its spread. All officials engaged in election duty are fully vaccinated and proper gears will be provided to the public while voting.”
The candidates of the local body elections as well as their supporters are keeping their fingers crossed as five panchayat unions in the district - Ambasamudram, Manur, Cheranmahadevi, Pappakudi and Palayamkottai - are going to the polls on Wednesday.
Following a High Court order, all the polling stations identified as vulnerable have been installed with web-streaming facility. The streaming has started on Tuesday evening and is now being monitored.
After inspecting the web streaming facility, Collector V Vishnu said until now, a total of Rs 5.1 lakh has been seized and three cases related to violation of Model Code of Conduct (MCC) have been registered. “Out of the total amount, Rs 4.7 lakh was seized from Manur and Rs 40,000 from Nanguneri,” he said adding the control room received 98 complaints on MCC violations and majority were related to wall posters.
He said there will be 621 polling stations in the five panchayat unions. “As many as 3,48,042 voters will exercise their franchise in the first phase. As many as 5,037 polling personnel will be involved in the election process. The panchayat unions will be split into 51 zones for monitoring purposes,” he said. Wheelchair facility has been made available at all the polling stations having voters with disabilities.