Kerala local body polls | EC to webcast polling in 1,850 sensitive booths

Kerala local body polls | EC to webcast polling in 1,850 sensitive booths
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Thiruvanathapuram: The State Election Commission (SEC) has decided to introduce a webcasting facility to keep a watch on the poll proceedings in 1,850 polling booths categorised 'sensitive'.

The first phase of the crucial civic body polls are just days away in Kerala.

The booths were identified as sensitive based on the report of police chief Loknath Behera and the directive for webcasting was issued by State Election Commissioner V Bhaskaran, an SEC statement said here.

The politically volatile Kannur, the north Kerala district which had once witnessed several political murders and clashes between political parties especially between CPI(M) and BJP, has the highest number of sensitive booths -785 while Pathanamthitta has the lowest - 5.

While Thiruvananthapuram district has 180 sensitive booths, Malappuam has100, Kozhikode (120), Palakkad (182), Kasaragod (100), Wayanad (152) and so on.

Comparatively, the northern districts have the highest number of sensitive booths.

Meanwhile, the poll proceedings would be videographed in the sensitive booths, identified jointly by the district election officers, district police chiefs and city police commissioners, the SEC said.

The videography facility would be installed in such booths, where there is no webcasting, and it would be conducted at the expense of the Election Commission.

Either candidates or political parties can seek videography at their own expense in booths where there is no videography or webcasting, the Commission said adding that they can ask permission from the district polling officials for the same.

A total of 74,899 candidates including 36,305 women and one transgender, are trying their luck in the upcoming local body polls, which is considered the curtain-raiser for the Assembly polls due next year.

Malappuram district has 8,387 candidates, the highest in the state, while Wayanad has the lowest at 1,857.

While the first phase of the three-tier poll, scheduled on December 8, would cover the districts of Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha and Idukki, the second phase is on December 10.

It would be held in Kottayam, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Palakkad and Wayanad while Malappuram, Kozhikode, Kannur and Kasaragod would go to the polls in the third and final phase on December 14.

An electorate of over 2.76 crore would exercise their franchise to elect representatives to 941 gram panchayats, 152 block panchayats, 14 district panchayats, 86 municipalities and six municipal corporations.

The votes would be counted on December 16.

(With PTI inputs)

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