Polling concludes peacefully across 1.5 lakh stations, 475 constituencies.

New Delhi [India], April 6 (ANI): The states of Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, and the union territory of Puducherry went to polls on Tuesday across 1.5 lakh polling stations in 475 Assembly constituencies.

April 6, 2021

National

6 min

zeenews

New Delhi [India], April 6 (ANI): The states of Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, and the union territory of Puducherry went to polls on Tuesday across 1.5 lakh polling stations in 475 Assembly constituencies.
While Assam witnessed polling for its third and last phase today, voting took for the third phase in West Bengal. The other three concluded their polls in a single phase.
As per the Elections Commission, polling was conducted peacefully in1,53,538 polling stations spread across 475 Assembly Constituencies, in the states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and for the third phase of Assam and West Bengal.
In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the number of polling stations was increased and the number of voters per polling station was reduced from 1,500 to 1,000, keeping social distancing norms in view.
According to the Election Commission of India (ECI), some instances of violence and brawls were reported in a few areas of West Bengal and some arrests have been made. The state recorded voter turnout of 77.68 per cent.
The third and final phase of the Assam election witnessed a voter turnout of 78.29 per cent till 5:20 pm on Tuesday, the Election Commission said. Fate of 337 candidates across 40 constituencies of 12 districts in the state, including the senior minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Himanta Biswa Sarma in the Jalukbari constituency was sealed in EVMs.
Ahead of the third phase, three EVMs and four VVPATs were found in the residence of TMC leader Gautam Ghosh. Following this, the sector officer, Tapan Kumar Sarkar, was suspended along with two assistant sector officers, Samjit Majumdar and Mithun Chakraborty. The sector police officer was also suspended and 3 home guards were demobilised.
In Tamil Nadu, voting in all 234 assembly constituencies in 38 districts of the state had begun. Voter turnout of 65.11 per cent in the single-phase Assembly elections.
AIADMK MP P Ravindranath’s car was allegedly attacked on Tuesday when he went to inspect polling in Bodinayakanur constituency from where his father and Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam is contesting the elections.
Tamil Nadu is witnessing a fierce battle between arch-rivals All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) and MK Stalin-led DMK. DMK, which has been out of power since 2011 in the state, is in a head-to-head battle with the ruling AIADMK in nearly 130 constituencies.
In Kerala, voting to choose members of the 140-seat assembly began at 7 am and ended at 6 pm. The state recorded around 74.02 pc voter turnout.
Puducherry recorded a voter turnout of over 78 per cent. Polling for 30 assembly seats in Puducherry began at 7 am today.
Across the five poll-bound states, polling stations were sanitised one day prior to polling, and facility of thermal scanning, hand sanitisers and face masks were made available in light of the COVID-19 elections.
At the last hour of the poll, polling was conducted in full COVID-19 protective gear, with proper COVID-19 protocols and supervision of health authorities.
In order to ensure inclusive and accessible elections, the EC extended the option of postal ballot facility to PwDs, Senior Citizens above the age of 80 years, COVID-19 suspect or affected persons and persons employed in essential services.
All Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and Voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) underwent First Level Checking, Randomisation, and Commissioning in the presence of Political Parties/Candidates agents, as per standard procedure.
“During FLC and during commissioning each of these EVMs and VVPATs had undergone mock polls. Before the start of the poll each of the EVMs and VVPATs again underwent a mock poll in the presence of polling agents of the candidates with minimum 50 votes cast on each, as per standard procedure. At the end of the mock poll the result of EVM were matched with the result of VVPAT slips and shown to the polling agents. The non-functioning rate during the mock poll is lesser than comparable / experienced in last few polls,” a statement from the EC said.
Live monitoring and webcasting of more than 50 per cent of all Polling Stations, including critical and vulnerable polling booths, were put in place to ensure a safe and secure atmosphere in polling areas.
A record seizure worth Rs 947.98 crore was made from the five states during these elections in the form of cash, liquor, narcotics, freebies.
This is more than 4.198 times higher than the total combined seizure of Rs 225.77 Crore in the General Assembly election in 2016.
“For effective monitoring, a total 4,606 Flying Squads (FS) and 4,670 Static Surveillance Teams (SST) were operationalised to check movement of cash, liquor, drugs and freebies. A total 19 Air Intelligence Units (AIU) of the IT Department are also set at different stations in Assam, West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.
A total of 1,87,146 cases of Model Code of Conduct violations were reported through the EC’s cVIGIL app out of which 1,86,647 cases were disposed as of Tuesday, 4 pm.
Assured Minimum Facilities (AMF) like drinking water, toilets with water facility, waiting shed, lighting, ramp for wheelchair-bound persons and a standard voting compartment were made available at all the Polling Stations. (ANI)

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