27,003 posts are to be filled in crucial TN civic elections

Chennai: Elections to rural local bodies in the nine newly created districts of Tamilnadu will be held in two phases on 6 and 9 October.

Announcing the poll schedule to the media recently, State Election Commissioner V Palanikumar said polling would be held from 7.00 am to 6.00 pm with the last one hour reserved for Covid patients and those with symptoms of any viral infection and the counting of votes will take place on 12 October.

The model code of conduct came into effect in the nine new districts of Kancheepuram, Chengalpattu, Vellore, Tirupattur, Ranipet, Villuppuram, Kallakurichi, Tiurunelveli and Tenkasi, with the announcement of the polls.

Filing of nominations would be held from 15 to 22 September. The scrutiny will take place on 23 September and the last date for withdrawal is 25 September, Palanikumar said.

A total of 27,003 posts are to be filled–140 district panchayat ward members, 1,381 panchayat union ward members for 74 panchayat unions and 22,581 village panchayat ward members posts in 2,901 village panchayats.

In the first phase, polls will be held for 78 district district panchayat ward member posts, 755 panchayat union ward member posts, 1,577 village panchayat president posts and 12,252 village panchayat ward member posts.

In the second phase, the polls will be held for 62 district panchayat ward member posts, 626 panchayat union ward member posts, 1,324 village panchayat president posts and 10,329 panchayat ward member posts.

Polling will be held in 14,573 booths–7,921 polling booths in the first phase and 6,652 booths in the second phase.

There are 76,59,720 voters in the nine districts. Of these, 37,77,524 are men, 38,81,361 are women and 835 are third gender voters.

About 1.1 lakh government employees will be part of the polling exercise. Indirect elections to the posts of district panchayat presidents, deputy presidents, panchayat union presidents and deputy presidents and village panchayat deputy presidents will be held on 22 October.

Apart from this, elections to fill vacant posts in 28 other districts that went to the polls in 2019 will be held on 9 October.

It may be recalled that the Supreme Court had given a deadline till 15 September for the Tamilnadu State Election Commission (TNSEC) to conduct the rural local body polls in nine new
districts in the State.

The local body elections have not been conducted in these nine districts for more than two years, the Court observed.

Senior advocate PS Narasimha who appeared on behalf of the TNSEC informed the Court that Tamilnadu had logged highest number of Covid cases and that delimitation has to be done in the newly carved districts.

He also said that the TNSEC needed more time because electronic voting machines will have to be brought from Election Commission of India.

After hearing the argument, Justice Hemant Gupta, heading a two Judge Bench also comprising Justice Aniruddha Bose, said ‘Covid is a good excuse in all matters. We know the reality in these matters, unless and until political parties are ready, elections are not held.’

The court said the notification for the elections was issued in 2019 and the delimitation was supposed to be done in four months.

Following this the Court gave TNSEC time till 15 September to complete the election process.
Elections to rural local bodies were conducted in Tamilnadu in 2019 leaving out nine new districts where delimitation had to be done. The tenure of the previous local body had ended in 2016.


NT Bureau