52,000 police personnel deployed to oversee polls in Kerala

The security at the 3,176 polling stations will be under the supervision of Central Armed Police Force.

Thiruvananthapuram: At least 52,000 police personnel have been deployed across Kerala for the smooth conduct of tomorrow's assembly polls, with 3,176 polling stations being identified as 'sensitive, critical and vulnerable', including 119 in naxal affected areas.

The security at the 3,176 polling stations will be under the supervision of Central Armed Police Force and arrangements for webcasting have also been made there, Chief Electoral Officer E K Majhi said today.

"The 119 polling stations in naxal areas come under the districts of Palakkad, Kozhikode, Kannur and Wayanad, and they will be under special security blanket," he said.

Special arrangements have been made in the politically sensitive Kannur district, where election related violence had been reported in previous polls, he told reporters here.

"At present, there are 21,498 regular polling stations and 148 auxiliary polling booths across the 140 assembly constituencies in the state. Of them, 3,176 have been identified as critical, sensitive or vulnerable," he said.

As many as 52,000 police personnel from the state police force in addition to sufficient strength of CAPF and Quick Response Teams have been deployed for the upkeep of law and order and ensuring free and fair polls across the state.

"Micro observers will be deployed in polling stations where internet connectivity is not available," he said.

The services of over 2,000 uniformed personnel from the Excise and forest departments and 2,027 home guards are also being used for election related duties.

Of the total 21,498 stations, 816 will be 'model polling stations' and 250 of them fully managed by women. Special mechanism had been put in place for monitoring election expenses.

As many as 1,11,897 polling officials from state and central government services have been drafted for polling duty in addition to those from banks and public sector undertakings.

There are 80 counting centres and counting of votes of all the 140 constituencies will be done simultaneously in these centres on May 19.

"The average voting percentage in Kerala is 75 per cent. We expect it will cross 80 per cent mark this time," Majhi said. The strength of the electorate is 2.60 crore, including 1.35 crore women voters and two belonging to the third gender.

This is the first time the third gender figures in the electoral roll in the state have been issued. The strength of the overseas electorate is 23,289.

( Source : PTI )
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