Single phase polling underway in Kerala, Tamilnadu and Puducherry

Last Modified Tuesday, 6 April 2021 (11:28 IST)
Thiruvananthapuram:Voting began for 140 Assembly constituencies in at 0700 hours on Tuesday, amid tight security. Polling began with strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols.
In many places, long queues were seen outside the polling stations.
Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) along with Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) are being used in the polling booths across the state.
Before starting the actual poll, a mock poll was conducted at every polling station, in the presence of polling agents of the candidates and the electronic result of the Control Unit and the VVPAT slips count are tallied and shown to them.
 
However, polling delayed due to malfunctioning of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) at a few places including in Thodupuzha, Kasaragod and Malappuram, sources said.
 
The fate of 957 candidates, who are in the fray will be decided by 2,74,46,039 voters including 1,32,83,724 males, 1,41,62,025 females and 290 transgenders.
 
Out of the total voters, 5,18,520 are first-time voters.A total of 40,771 polling booths were arranged across the state.As COVID-19 protocol is in force, the last one hour of the voting is reserved for COVID patients.
 
Visually challenged people will have facility to cast their vote without depending on others. Dummy ballot papers in Braille script were arranged in every booth, the sources said.Voting was also commenced for Malappuram Lok Sabha byelection at 0700 hours this morning.
 
Out of the 140 seats, polling will be held till 1800 hrs in 9 constituencies and in 131 constituencies voting will be allowed till 1900 hours.Six candidates are contesting the Lok Sabha bypoll for Malappuram seat.
 
Polling underway in UT of Pondy
 
Puducherry:Polling began in the Union Territory of at 0700 hours on Tuesday, amid tight security.As many as 10,03,840 electors including 5,30,828 women and 117 transgenders will exercise their franchise to decide the electoral fortune of 324 candidates in the fray.
 
The prominent candidates in the fray are former Chief Minister V Narayanasamy, Ex-Ministers A Namassivayam, Shajahan, Kamalakannan, Kandasamy, Panneerselvam,and Kalyanasundaram besides 35 women candidates.
 
The number of polling booths have been increased to 1,558 to accommodate below 1000 voters in a booth to ensure a safe polling in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and VVPATs were being used in all the polling stations in the UT.
 
As many as 6,835 polling personnel including 2,833 women and 719 central government employees are being deployed for election duty and 2,420 personnel of the state police, 901 India Reserve Battalion,1,490 Home Guards, and 40 company of CAPF have been deployed for security duty.
 
All Covid protocols would be maintained in the polling booths.As many as 330 polling booths were identified as vulnerable and CAPF personnel are being deployed for duty and there is one 'All Women' polling booth.The voting will come to a close at 7 PM this evening.
 
Single phase polling underway in TN amid tight security
 
Chennai: An estimated 6.29 crore electorate are expected to cast their ballots, as the single phase polling in one of the most fiercely contested to elect the 16th Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly began at 0700 hrs on Tuesday, apart from the bypoll to the Kanyakumari Lok Sabha seat.
 
As the covid pandemic protocols are in force, polling for the 234-Assembly seats began in more than 88,000 polling booths across the state, which was 34.73 per cent higher in view of
the pandemic.
 
Actor Ajith Kumar is among the early birds to cast his ballot in the city as he, accompanied by his wife Shalini, turned up at the polling booth well in advance before the voting process
started, stood in the queue and cast thier ballots.
 
More than 1.55 lakh Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) along with VVEPAT slips are being used during the polling, being held amid tight security and deployment of para military forces and state police personnel.
 
Election Commission sources said that enhanced security is provided in more than 10,000 sensitive and hyper sensitive booths where the entire polling process are videographed
and webcast live.
 
The polling, which commenced at 0700 hrs will end at 1900 hrs in the evening, an extension by an hour in view of the pandemic.With a view to ensure maximum turnout, the ECI also announced that those infected by the covid virus and are in self-isolation, are allowed to vote in the last hour by wearing the necessary PPE kits.
 
All those wearing face masks alone are allowed to enter the pollingbooth after thermal scanning and following the SOPs.(UNI)