Chennai: A total of 5.98 crore voters will decide the fate of 845 contestants from the 39 Lok Sabha constituencies in Tamil Nadu besides 269 candidates for the 18 Assembly by-polls, on April 18.
Women voters (3,02,69,045) outnumber men (2,95,94,923) in the electoral rolls which also includes 5,790 transgender people. “We aimed for cent percent coverage and updated the electoral rolls. About 14,10,745 voters have been included in the last couple of months and the distribution of the EPIC cards has commenced and it would be made sure that the voters got their cards ahead of the election date,” Chief Electoral Officer Satyabrata Sahoo said.
Speaking to reporters here on Thursday he said the election commission has started the distribution of voters’ slips and till yesterday 19.17 lakh voters have received the slips. “Totally 845 candidates are contesting from 39 Lok Sabha constituencies and 269 candidates for the 18 Assembly by-election. The Election Commission will hold by-election to four more Assembly constituencies of Thiruparankundram, Ottapidaram, Sulur and Aravakurichi on May 19,” Mr. Sahoo informed.
Of the 67,720 polling stations in Tamil Nadu 30,000 would be brought under web cam surveillance. “We have identified 7,780 polling stations as critical and vulnerable and these would be manned by either CRPF or micro observers, or both. They would be covered by webcasting or videography,” the CEO said. Also, the election commission has received sufficient number of ballot and counting units and each ballot unit will contain the names of 15 candidates.
On the seizures, the CEO said Rs 127.66 crore cash was seized so far by the election commission’s flying squads and static surveillance teams. Joint teams of EC and Income Tax department have seized Rs 50.3 crore. Of that, the I-T department had seized Rs 37.78 crore. About Rs 62.24 crore has been returned to owners who submitted appropriate documents. In addition, 989 kg gold and 584 kg silver, totally worth Rs 284 crore were also seized.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission has instructed political parties, candidates, organisations and persons not to publish any advertisements in print media on the poll day or one day prior to polls without clearance from the MCMC committee....