First phase of civic polls in Kerala to start tomorrow

Sunday, Nov 1, 2015,14:03 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

Thiruvananthapuram | Over one crore voters are expected to exercise their franchise in seven districts in the first phase of the crucial civic polls in Kerala tomorrow, which are considered as the semi-finals before the next year’s Assembly elections.

Public campaign in the seven districts of Kollam, Idukki, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Kasaragod, Kannur and Thiruvananthapuram, ended on a peaceful note yesterday. In the first phase, a total of 31,161 candidates, including 582 in district panchayats, 2844 in block panchayats, 22,788 in village panchayats, 1315 in corporations and 3632 in municipalities are in the fray.

According to state Election Commission figures, there are 1,11,11006 voters in these seven districts. The polls in the remaining seven districts, Alappuzha, Thrissur, Pathanamthitta, Ernakulam, Kottayam, Malappuram and Palakkad will be held in the second phase on November 5. State Election Commissioner K Sasidharan Nair said here that preparations are completed and the stage is all set for the polls. He said the elections in the newly formed Kannur municipal corporation and 11 out of 28 new municipalities would also be held tomorrow, he said.

A total of 1315 polling stations have been identified as highly sensitive booths in the first phase. Webcasting has been arranged in 1022 of these booths and video recording will be held in the rest of the stations, he said. Nair said mobile phones would not be permitted within the polling booths and officials on duty were directed to keep their handsets on silent mode.

State police chief DGP T P Senkumar said 38,000 security personnel, including women officials, have been deployed for the smooth conduct of voting in the initial phase. Besides the state police and personnel of excise, forest, marine and motor vehicle departments, 10 company of police from Karnataka would also be deployed in various places, he said. The counting of votes will be held on November 7.