Mangaluru, May 28: The gram panchayat elections will be held on Friday May 29th. Padua Educational Institutions campus here is the mustering and de-mustering centre for the panchayat polls.
The mustering process on Thursday May 28th had aroused much confusion among the officials assigned for the election duty who had arrived at the venue to collect the election materials and depart to their allotted polling centres. The venue was even congested.
The ballot papers were expected to arrive at the venue from the taluk office at 8 am, but there was no sign of it till almost 11.30 am.
Those who have been assigned election duty were supposed to register before 10.45 am, but even after an hour many had failed to do so.
Speaking to the media, ADC said that due to shortage of workers we could not get the ballot papers on time and the confusion had prevailed. Ten persons were assigned for the job, but only four showed up. The papers were supposed to reach Padua at 9 am, but reached only at 11.30 am. The vehicle that was supposed to transport the ballot papers reached taluk office late due to heavy traffic, he said.
Speaking to the media, deputy commissioner A B Ibrahim said, all preparations are in place for the gram panchayat election which is scheduled to be held tomorrow. Ballet boxes and papers were supposed to be carried by the election officers to their respected booths. We have also trained them before time.
Heavy security has been imposed in sensitive areas where communal clashes had happened earlier. In border areas of the district, we have assigned more guards for more security. The police department is doing a great job. Dakshina Kannada district has a good history of achieving high voting percentages. Even this time we are expecting the same. Polling percentage of the 2010 gram panchayat election was 73.51 percent, and all efforts are made to improve this percentage this time he said.
In Dakshina Kannada district, 2,700 Police and Home Guards staff has been deployed on election duty.
In a press meet, Deputy Commissioner of the district, A B Ibrahim, and SP, Dr SD Sharanappa, said that regular combing operation is in progress in naxal hit areas to develop a sense of confidence among the villagers in such areas.
Out of the 880 polling booths in the district, 65 have been identified as naxal-prone, 139 as super sensitive, 216 as sensitive, and 460 as normal booths. Security arrangements will be deployed depending on the situation prevailing on Friday. A total of 2,000 policemen will be on duty. In addition to state industrial security force contingents from the city and Bengaluru, Karnataka State Reserve Police, district armed reserve police, and a company of Kerala police will be assigned on polling duty.
Sixty-one mobile sector squads and 10 supervisory mobile squads will inspect the election proceedings. In selected centres, election proceedings will be video recorded, said SP Sharanappa.
A government notification has stated that government offices, government factories, industries, educational institutions, schools and colleges located within gram panchayat limits where election is scheduled will remain closed on Friday, May 29th.
On the eve of elections, instead of May 29th; the schools will re-open after summer holidays on June 1st.