823 candidates in fray in Tamil Nadu

May 11th, 2009 - 9:12 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, May 11 (IANS) Over 40 million voters in Tamil Nadu will decide the electoral fate of 823 candidates in the fray May 13, the state’s chief electoral officer (CEO) said Monday.
“The Lok Sabha poll for Tamil Nadu will be in the last - 5th phase - May 13. After scrutiny and withdrawal of candidatures, 823 candidates are left in the fray. The electorate’s size is 4.16 crore,” CEO Naresh Gupta told reporters here.

There are 41 woman candidates.

Out of the total 52,175 polling stations set up in Tamil Nadu, the poll panel has has identified 4,043 as hypersensitive and 16,938 as sensitive or critical stations.

However, Gupta declined to identify the constituencies in which the hypersensitive polling stations fall.

He said the total security personnel required for the election duty are estimated at 90,231 of which the state police personnel will be around 58,250 and the balance will be mobilised from ex-servicemen, home guards and retired police personnel. Around 800 National Cadet Corps (NCC) personnel would be deployed for election duty at the polling stations for managing the queue and other work.

In addition, 133 companies of central police forces would be deployed.

Gupta said in 26 constituencies, there are more than 16 candidates necessitating two or three voting machines which, in turn, increased the need of electronic voting machines by 30,000 units.

“The additional requirements were met by redeploying machines from states like Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka and as well from Bharat Electronics Limited,” he said.

He said polling will start at 7 a.m. and close at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Queried about the violation of the poll code by the television channels, the CEO said: “Jaya TV violated the code by showing scenes that may incite violence. There is objectionable coverage of personnel. We have issued notice to the channel to stop such telecast.”

He said Kalaignar TV too has violated the code and a notice will be issued to them.

However, Gupta said the poll panel is not in a position of curb political parties resorting to SMSs and online campaigning.

Campaigning in Tamil Nadu came to an end Monday.

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