Mangaluru: Deputy Commissioner AB Ibrahim held a press meet at the DC office here, on February 12.
Speaking to the mediapersons, Ibrahim said, “Nominations were accepted from February 1 for the Zilla Panchayat (ZP) and Taluk Panchayat (TP) elections to be held on February 20. The response was overwhelming and 210 nominations submitted by 184 candidates for ZP were verified on February 9. Seven nominations out of the 562 nominations filed by 524 candidates for TP elections were rejected upon verification.”
He said that after withdrawal, 116 candidates would contest the ZP elections for 36 seats. “For the TP seats of 39 in Mangaluru, 34 in Bantwal, 26 in Beltangady, 24 in Puttur and 13 in Sullia, the number of candidates contesting is 115, 92, 71, 54 and 29 respectively,” Ibrahim said.
Ibrahim further said, “The ballot paper for the ZP election will be ‘pink’ in colour and for TP election will be ‘white’. The ballot papers will feature the name of the candidate along with their election symbol and None Of The Above (NOTA) will also feature on the ballot paper.”
The election will be held at 1166 polling booths and 10000 volunteers will be ensuring the smooth running of the election. “The election at the polling booths marked as sensitive and extra sensitive will be videographed. Five Nodal Officers are appointed to run the elections. One Sector Officer for every 10 polling booths and Flying Squad consisting of three officers for every Taluk is appointed,” Ibrahim added.
“Every voter must possess an EPIC ID card or in extreme cases a voter can use 22 other photo ID proofs as issued by the government of India like, passport, PAN card, driving license, Aadhar card, Ration card, etc. The right index finger will be marked with an insoluble ink mark once the voter casts his vote,” Ibrahim said.
In Mangaluru Taluk, ZP seats at Kinnigoli and Someshwar will see 5 candidates each and 4 candidates will contest for the ZP seat at Gurpur. In Bantwal Taluk, Kalladka has 5 candidates and Mannur with 4 candidates. In Beltangady Taluk, ZP seats at Aldhangadi will see 6 candidates, Laaila with 5 candidates and Dharmasthala and Kuwettu with 4 candidates each. In Puttur Taluk, ZP seats at Nellyadi and Panaje will be contested by 4 candidates each and Kadaba with 5 candidates.
For TP elections, seats at Someshwar, Adyar, Haleangadi, Paladka, Kallamundkoor, Hosabettu, Kuppepadavu, Thenkamijaar, Balepuni, Kedila, Naringaana, Karopadi, Laaila and Dharmasthala will be contested by 4 candidates each. Chaarmadi and Kolnadu will be contested by 6 candidates each. TP seats in Puttur and Sullia will be contested by 3 and 2 candidates. “A government holiday is declared on February 20 to ensure maximum participation by the voters,” Ibrahim added.
When asked if the activists of Yettinahole will meet the voters and urge them not to vote, what action will be taken? DC said, “No one has the right to involve in negative publicity or stop the voters from casting their votes. It is the right of the citizens to cast his/her vote, if they are not interested to vote there is a option called NOTA”.
DC further urged the political leaders not to campaign against anyone. Do not pass negative comments of the opposition. For smooth election process all the political party leaders as well as the candidates should join hands with the district administration, he urged.
Liquor is banned during elections and election campaign will also banned from February 18, from 7:00 am, February 18, morning no processions, public meetings, campaign or announcements are allowed. There should not be any advertisements nor any publicity through social media. If there is a violation of the election code of conduct, we will take action against the candidate, agent and the political party. If any candidate will advertise the expenditure will be counted.
Mastering and de-mastering centers have been identified and all the election duty officers and staff will be given training. Within the parameters of law the elections must go on, said the DC.