Zilla, taluk panchayat polls today

Polling from 7 am to 5 pm; elaborate security arrangements in place

 The district administrations in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi have made all arrangements for the smooth conduct of zilla and taluk panchayat elections on February 20. 

The polling will be held from 7 am to 5 pm. The fate of 116 candidates for 36 seats in zilla panchayat and 361 candidates for 136 taluk panchayat seats in Dakshina district will be sealed on Saturday. 

The number of candidates contesting the election from different parties are” Congress - 36, BJP - 36, JD(S) - 11, BSP - 1, CPI - 1, CPM - 7, JD(U) - 2, SDPI - 3 and independents - 19.

Out of the 36 zilla panchayat seats in Dakshina Kannada district, 10 are in Mangaluru taluk, nine in Bantwal taluk, seven in Belthangady taluk, six in Puttur taluk and four in Sullia taluk.

The number of candidates for taluk panchayat constituencies are: Congress - 136, BJP - 136, JD(S) - 16, BSP - 3, CPI - 2, CPI(M) - 22, JD(U) - 3, SDPI - 17 and independents - 26.

Out of 136 seats in the district, 39 are in Mangaluru taluk, 34 in Bantwal taluk, 26 in Belthangady taluk, 24 in Puttur taluk and 13 in Sullia taluk. 

In the previous term of the zilla panchayat (2010), BJP had won 24 seats  and the Congress had 11 seats. During the delimitation of constituencies, Kuvettu zilla panchayat constituency was included for this year’s election. 

Five former zilla panchayat presidents --- Asha Thimmappa Gowda, Shailaja Bhat, Koragappa Naik, Mamatha Gatti and Sucharitha Shetty --- are contesting the zilla panchayat election. Apart from this, former MLA Padmanabha Kottari is contesting the election from Sajipamunnooru zilla panchayat constituency. Kottari was the lone BJP zilla panchayat member in the 35-member zilla panchayat in 2000. He was elected from Golthamajalu constituency. Later, Kottari was elected to the Assembly from the former Vittal constituency in 2004. 

Out of 116 candidates in the zilla panchayat election fray, 56 are women. Though there are 18 seats reserved for women in zilla panchayat, the Congress and the BJP have fielded women in 19 constituencies. 

The district has 1,166 polling booths, of which 422 are sensitive and 221 are hypersensitive. In fact, the district has 61 polling booths coming under Maoist-affected areas. 

xElectronic voting machines for zilla panchayat polls would be marked with pink paper for easy identification, while those to be used for the taluk panchayat polls would be marked with white paper. 

The total number of voters in the district is 10,48,897 and 2,681 EVMs will be used in the polling. The number of staff used for polling is 6,410. A total of 579 vehicles have been used for the polling purpose. 

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

Security measuresThe Police Department has made elaborate security arrangements for the peaceful polling in the district. Depending on the sensitivity of the polling booths, police personnel have been deployed. 

Every nine to 13 polling booths will have a sector mobile team. The police have already identified 1,200 persons who were involved in anti-social activities in the district. If the public come across any illegalities in the polling booths, they can inform the police or control room at 0824-2220500 or 2440284. ANF and special squads are on high alert at the Maoist-affected areas in the district. The district administration has already announced dry day in the wake of polling. 

Sale of liquor has been banned from 10 pm on February 22 to midnight of February 23, in the as a result of counting. 

Liquor ban is also in force till 10 pm on February 20 in the wake of polls.Stage set for polls

The stage is all set for the zilla and taluk panchayat elections in Udupi district on Saturday.  

Elaborate security arrangements have been made in the district. The day will decide the fate of as many as 77 candidates contesting for 26 zilla panchayat seats and 233 candidates contesting for 98 taluk panchayat constituencies. The election will be held at 936 polling stations. Among these, 904 are main polling booths and 32 are auxiliaries. 

Fifty-one booths are hypersensitive polling booths, 142 sensitive polling booths, 689 normal while 54 polling booths are in Maoist-prone areas. As many as 2,152 EVMs have been set up at 904 polling booths.

Superintendent of Police Annamalai told Deccan Herald that a total of 2,400 police personnel have been deployed on booth and patrolling duties. The security consists of one SP, one ASP, five DySPs, 16 CPIs, 116 SIs/ASIs, 1,310 police personnel, 392 home guards, 141 DAR men, one ANF squad and 6 KSRP platoons, he added.

St Cecily School Ajjarkadu, Udupi taluk and Manjunath Pai Memorial Government First Grade College, Karkala and Bhandarkar’s Arts and Science College, Kundapur will be counting centers in the district. The counting will be held on February 23.

Out of 77 nomination papers filed for the zilla panchayat election, 26 each are from Congress and BJP, six from JD(S), four each from BSP and CPI(M) while 11 independents candidates are in the fray.  There are 26 zilla panchayat seats (Kundapur 10, Udupi 11 and Karkala five) in the district. 233 nominees are contesting for taluk panchayat elections in the district. 

There are 98 taluk panchayat constituencies in the district with 37 constituencies in Kundapur, 41 in Udupi and 20 in Karkala taluks. Out of the 233 nomination papers, 98 each are from Congress and BJP, 10 from JD(S), 12 from CPI (M), one from SDPI and 14 independents candidates respectively. 

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