Silent campaign today in Kerala; 957 candidates, 40771 booths
Thiruvananthapuram: As the state is all set for the assembly polls on Tuesday, silent campaign will be carried out on Monday. In the silent campaign, candidates and followers will seek votes with door to door campaigning. Apart from door-to-door campaign, candidates are directly contacting the voters through phone.
Besides personal visit and phone calls, recorded voice messages seeking votes are forwarded to the voters.
The voting for 140 constituencies in the assembly and one Lok Sabha constituency will commence at 7 am on Tuesday. Out of the 140 constituencies, polling will be held till 6 pm in 9 constituencies and 7 pm in 131 constituencies.
A total of 957 candidates are testing the political waters in the assembly polls. 6 candidates are contesting in Lok Sabha bypolls for Malappuram seat.
There are 1,32,83,724 male voters, 1,41,62,025 female voters and 290 transgender voters in 140 constituencies. A total of 2,74,46,039 voters are identified in the state. Out of them, 5,18,520 are first-time voters.
As the COVID protocol is in force, the number of voters in each booth have been reduced. With this, more polling booths were established. A total of 40771 polling booths are arranged across the state.
Polling will conclude at 6 pm in naxal prone areas including Mananthavady, Sulthan Bathery, Kalpetta, Eranad, Nilambur, Vandoor, Kongad, Mannarkkad and Malampuzha.
The last one hour of the voting is reserved for COVID patients.
Visually challenged people will have facility to cast their vote without depending on others. Dummy ballot papers in Braille script will be arranged in every booth.
Action to crack down double voting
The Chief Electoral Officer has taken necessary action to ensure that voters cast single vote amid the controversy over double voting. Special guidelines were issued in this regard. Necessary security arrangements will be ensured in each booth.
A total of 59,292 Kerala police officials are deployed for election duty along with central forces and police personnel from other states.
481 police stations in the state have been divided into 142 sub-divisions and are under the direct control of the 14 district police chiefs.
Apart from the Kerala Police officials, there are 140 companies of CISF, CRPF and BSF officials and this is the biggest deployment of central forces in any election in the state. Special operations group and Thunderbolt are also deployed in naxal hit areas.
Drone facility is also arranged as part of surveillance.
Counting of votes will be held on May 2.