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All arrangements in place for urban body elections today

Polling to be held in 30,000 booths across State amid elaborate security

All arrangements in place for urban body elections today


Polling would be held in more than 30,000 booths across the state and the State Election Commission has made elaborate security arrangements. 

More than 1.33 lakh officials will be involved on election duty. Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) have been despatched to all the polling stations, which have been placed under tight security.

Tamil Nadu State Election Commissioner V Palanikumar urged voters to participate in the election and assured adequate safety and security for the public. 

Based on the High Court directions, CCTV surveillance was enhanced at all vulnerable and sensitive areas and booths. 

The top brass of State police also assured public safety so voters would come forward to participate in the democratic process, Palanikumar urged. Special poll observers have been posted for Coimbatore district, the Election Commissioner told reporters on the eve of polling. 

More than one lakh police personnel have been deployed on security duty and special teams have been formed to stop distribution of money and other malpractices.

Police also conducted flag marches in sensitive areas to instil confidence among the people. A total of 57,778 candidates are in the fray for the elections to 648 urban local bodies in 21 Municipal Corporations, 138 Municipalities and 489 Town Panchayats in the State.

Polling will be held to fill up 12,607 posts, including 1,374 Corporation ward members, 3,843 municipality ward members and 7,621 Town Panchayat member posts. Of the 57,778 candidates, 11,196 candidates are contesting for Corporation ward members, 17,922 for Municipality ward members and 28,660 for Town Panchayat ward member posts.

A total 218 candidates were declared elected unopposed in various parts of the State. After the newly elected members assume office on March 2, indirect elections for the Mayors and Deputy Mayors of the Corporations, the Chairpersons and Vice-chairpersons of the Municipalities and the Presidents and Vice-Presidents of the Town Panchayats will be held on March 4. 

Though several parties are in the fray, it would be a straight fight between the DMK and the AIADMK, which are trying to regain the people’s confidence after losing the Assembly polls. The counting of votes will take place on February 22. 

Romanian may be asked to leave India for joining poll campaign
The Romanian national, who came under the scanner for campaigning for the DMK in Coimbatore for the urban local body elections, appeared before officers of the Bureau of Immigration in Chennai on Friday, after being summoned to tender an explanation for taking part in the election campaign in violation of visa conditions.
The photographs and visuals of Negoita Stefan Marius (48) campaigning for the ruling party among the people and riding a two-wheeler sporting party symbol had gone viral, which caught the attention of the officials.
“Usually in such cases, the foreigner will be given ‘leave India’ notice, after which he or she will have to leave within 24 hours. If the person fails to do so, he or she will be detained and deported,” said official sources.
Marius, who reached India on a business visa that is valid till January 20, 2023, was involved in activities (political/election campaign), which is not as per the intended purpose of visit, which amounts to visa violation, the Bureau of immigration said in the notice issued to him.
Based on the summons, he appeared at the office of the Bureau of Immigration in Nungambakkam on Friday afternoon. Sources said Foreigner Regional Registration officer Arun Shakthi Kumar conducted an inquiry with him for more than two hours.
Police said the man, a native of Campina in Romania, was in Coimbatore on a business visit to meet former DMK minister Pongalur B Palaniswamy’s son Gokul Kruba Sankar. He attracted attention from immigration officials after the visuals of him distributing DMK pamphlets to bus passengers at Ondipudur and Singanallur and travelled in Coimbatore on a two-wheeler with the ‘Rising Sun’ symbol were reported widely in the media.
Interacting with the media in Coimbatore, he claimed he was impressed to see women travelling on government buses free of cost and claimed that it would provide an impetus to women empowerment and help the women from economically weaker sections. Later he campaigned for the DMK.

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