The Palanikumar, who had conducted the final round of meeting with the Collectors of nine poll-bound districts, also said that the model code of conduct comes into immediate effect. The model code of conduct for nine districts – Kancheepuram, Chengalpattu, Vellore, Villupuram, Kallakurichi, Tirunelveli, Tenkasi, Tirupattur and Ranipettai will come into force immediately and the counting of votes will be on October 12, he said. The top official also said that the commission is taking all steps to conduct the civic polls for all the municipalities and municipal corporations in the State.
The nine districts have a total of 76,59,720 electorates. Of them, 37,77,524 are men and 38,81,361 are women while 835 are trans persons, the commissioner said. According to TNSEC sources, all the political parties have welcomed the decision to hold the polls from 7 am to 6 pm and the voters’ rolls are ready.
Meanwhile, the announcement of Chief Minister M K Stalin on Monday waiving the Cooperative jewel loans up to five sovereigns per family is also seen by the DMK insiders as a prelude for the DMK campaign for upcoming civic polls.
Last week representatives from 11 recognised political parties, including ruling DMK, opposition AIADMK, CPI, CPIM(M), DMDK had demanded the conduct of polls in a free and fair manner. The DMK and the AIADMK had already announced their poll managers for the civic polls and the grapevine from the political circles is that the seat-sharing talks will be finalised in the current week.
With the public health department intensifying the COVID vaccination drive, more than 60 per cent of the population in these districts are to be inoculated with at least one dose of vaccine. Provision of masks, face shields, gloves and PPE kits to polling officers were already discussed and those with COVID symptoms will be allowed to vote from 6 pm to 7 pm in PPE suit, poll officials said.