All set for bypolls on Monday: CEO Teeka Ram Meena

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Chief Electoral Officer Teeka Ram Meena on Friday said all measures have been taken for the smooth conduct of by-elections to five Assembly constituencies scheduled to be held on October 21.

The polling will be held from 7 am to 6 pm. Companies of Kerala Armed police, ITBP and IR battalions will be deployed to ensure free and fair poll.

Mr Meena said polling will be held in 896 polling stations across five constituencies. The highest number of candidates is in Ernakulam where nine are in the fray. All sensitive and vulnerable booths in these constituencies have been identified with EC making arrangements for webcasting facility in 140 polling stations. The entire process will be under the strict surveillance of web cameras.

The latest M 2 EVMs are being used for the polls this time. The authorities have kept 20 percent additional machines as standby.  There is an increase of 12,780 voters compared to Lok Sabha polls.

The CEO said voters’ identity card will be mandatory for the identification. However, the other documents prescribed by the commission will be permissible. Cooperative bank passbooks and voter slips are not valid document to ascertain identity.

Mr Meena said green protocol was enforced strictly in all five constituencies. Single use plastic has been banned. Special squads will be conducting checks at different places.

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