Malabar all set for elections

Shops, libraries and other institutions to remain shut within 200 metres of polling booths

KOZHIKODE: Malabar districts are all set to vote on Monday and the election officials have put all arrangements in place. The polling materials will be distributed on Sunday at various centres. District collectors have ordered party workers and leaders from outside to leave the constituencies.

In Kozhikode, 23,59,731 voters, 78,432 of them newly enroled, will exercise their franchise at 1,886 booths across 13 constituencies, including 65 model booths. Over 400 are identified as sensitive. VVPAT voting machines will be used in Kozhikode North constituency.

In Kannur, out of the 1,629 polling booths, 1,054 will be webcast live and 192 will have full-time video coverage. A special control room has been set up at the collectorate with 80 people from revenue, police, BSNL, excise and Central forces watching the process all the time.

Polling booths in seven constituencies identified as sensitive will be webcast. A total of 193 observers will be assigned on the election day. District collector has given directions to shut down all shops, libraries, and institutions within 200 metres of the polling booth on the day. Photos of those who are doing open vote and their aide will be taken separately.

In Kasargod, four booths have been categorised as ‘inaccessible’ where the police and emergency services face difficulty to reach. In Wayanad, the distribution of polling materials would begin at Vocational Higher Secondary School, Mananthavady, SDM LP School, Kalpetta and Sarvajana High School, Sulthan Bathery, at 6 am on Sunday.

District collector Keshvendra Kumar told reporters that the district has 5,96,939 voters including 3,04,621 male voters. It has 470 polling stations including one auxiliary station. In model polling booths saplings would be given to maiden electors, aged voters and differently abled, he said.

Campaign comes to colourful end

The public campaigns in Kozhikode constituencies came to a colourful end on Saturday with spirited supporters wearing caps, masks and shawls of their particular parties and celebrating on the premises of Thoppayil beach. While some of the party supporters came out with families, majority of them were drunk and the cops had a hard time controlling them. Separate spaces were allocated for LDF, UDF and BJP supporters to avoid clashes.

Gandhi Road area was marked for BJP, Thoppayil for UDF and Butt Road for LDF. Cops were seen asking the workers to stick to their allotted areas. A large number of children were also present for the campaign ending, arriving in lorries and jeeps.

Party workers played drums, whistled and threw party poppers while encouraging others to dance with them. Several of them were also seen wearing their favourite candidates’ mask while campaigning. Though election commission stipulated 6 p.m. for ending the campaign, the District Collector had asked to wind it up by 5 p.m.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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