DC tells agitating villagers to exercise franchise

Deputy Commissioner A B Ibrahim has appealed to voters to take part in the democratic process by exercising their franchise in the backdrop of election boycott announced by voters in some villages in the district. 

Briefing media persons in the town on Friday, he said the district administration cannot make promises of solving their problems as the model code of conduct is in force. The villagers can bring their grievances to the notice of elected representatives after the election results are announced. Tahsildars and returning officers are visiting the villages where the residents have threatened to boycott the elections and are convincing the residents to exercise their franchise, he added.

He said flex boards and banners, put up by the residents of some villages announcing the boycotting of elections, have been removed.

Hyper sensitive booths
Dakshina Kannada district has 422 sensitive and 221 hyper sensitive polling booths. The total number of polling stations in the district is 1,166. The district administration has made all arrangements to conduct the election in a fair and transparent manner, the deputy commissioner said and added that the polling process in hyper sensitive and sensitive polling booths will be videographed. The polling booth number 122 and 123 in Mangaluru taluk at Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayat Higher Primary School building has been shifted to Government Pre-University College, Chelayaru.

Separate electronic voting machines (EVMs) will be used for polling in zilla and taluk panchayat elections, he said.

The EVMs for zilla panchayat elections will be marked with pink paper for easy identification, while those to be used for the taluk panchayat polls would be marked with white paper.

A total of 2,332 EVMs have been supplied to the district. For the effective implementation of code of conduct and to check any illegalities, 139 sector officers have been appointed.

Each taluk will have a flying squad with three officers. Each polling booth will have five polling officers, including a presiding officer, the DC said.

Postal voting
Ibrahim said the district administration has dispatched ballot papers to 1,024 voters who are serving in armed forces. The list of voters was updated in the district recently by deleting the names of those who retired from service. Forms have been given to the polling staff for the postal voting.

The postal voting should reach the counting centre by 7 am on February 23, the day of counting votes.

Expenditure details
Additional Deputy Commissioner Kumar said the total number of voters in the district is 10,48,897, including 5,21,378 men and 5,27,519 women. Mangaluru taluk has the highest number of voters - 3.07 lakh while Sullia has the lowest - 98,079 voters. Apart from EPIC card, the voters can produce 22 other documents for exercising franchise.

Election Expenditure Observer G H Hiriyanna said the campaign expenditure ceiling for zilla panchayat candidates is Rs 1 lakh and for taluk panchayat nominees, it is Rs 50,000. The candidates should furnish day-to-day expenses to the observer once in three days.

Complete account details should be furnished within 30 days of the announcement of results. If they fail to do so, the Election Commission will bar the person from contesting the election for six years, he added.

Number of candidates
The number of candidates contesting the zilla panchayat election from different constituencies is as follows: Kinnigoli (5), Gurupura (4), Someshwara (5), Kolnadu (5), Sajipa Munnur (4), Aladangady (6), Laila (5), Dharmasthala (4), Kuvettu (4), Nelyadi (4), Kadaba (5), Panaje (4), and Aranthodu (4).

For taluk panchayat elections, the highest number of candidates contesting are at Someshwara (4), Adyar (4), Haleyangady (4), Paladka (4), Kallamundkooru (4), Hosabettu (4), Kuppepadavu (4), Thenkamijaru (4), Balepuni (4), Kedila (4), Kolnadu (6), Naringana (4), Karopady (4), Laila (4), Charmadi (6) and Dharmasthala (4).

There is a direct fight between the candidates in 13 zilla panchayat constituencies and 67 taluk panchayat constituencies in the district.

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