Updated: February 11, 2021 5:11:35 pm
Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sunil Arora Thursday said the polling time for the upcoming assembly election in Tamil Nadu would be extended by an hour to adhere to the social distancing guidelines issued by the centre in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Addressing the reporters in Chennai to brief upon the Election Commission’s (EC) preparedness for the general election, Arora said apart from the normal election observers, they have decided to send two special expenditure observers. This initiative is taken by the EC to prevent the rampant money distribution which the state had witnessed in the past elections.
“Due to Covid-19, the polling stations in the state have been increased. With the additional 25,000, there will be a total of 93,000 polling stations in the state for the upcoming assembly elections,” Arora said.
The Tamil Nadu assembly tenure is due to expire on May 24, 2021. The elections are due for 234 constituencies — General – 188, SC – 44, and ST – 02.
The EC added that the bypoll for the Kanyakumari parliamentary constituency would be held along with 2021 assembly polls. The seat fell vacant following the demise of Congress MP H Vasanthakumar.
A team of EC delegation led by chief Sunil Arora reached the city on Wednesday to review the election preparedness. They held a meeting with district election officers, the Superintendents of Police and other officials.
Arora alongside Election Commissioners Sushil Chandra and Rajiv Kumar met the representatives of nine political parties who had expressed their opinion to conduct the poll in a single-phase and declare the results two days from the polling date.
“We told political parties that when polls are conducted in more than one state, counting can’t be done in a day or two as it becomes difficult for other states if one state’s result is out. Some parties had apprehension about permitting persons above 80 and disabled people to cast ballot votes. Some of them want the elections to be held in the last week of April in view of festivals, exams and other factors, the EC will keep these factors in mind,” the CEC said.
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