Puducherry/Tamil Nadu [India], February 12 (ANI): Ahead of Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry Legislative Assembly elections, Chief Election Commissioner of India (CEC) Sunil Arora on Friday said that the election will be held at the same time in both the states and the number of polling stations has increased due to COVID-19 pandemic.
"It is appropriate to hold simultaneous elections as Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry are integrated. So we have advised all polling stations to be the same that the election will take place at the same time. We have increased the number of polling stations in Pondicherry from 952 to 1,564 due to the COVID-19 pandemic," the CEC told reporters in Puducherry.
The CEC further said that the coronavirus vaccine has been ordered to be given priority to the pre-election staff and instructed the Chief Minister to implement it.
Arora also added, "We have consulted with 10 recognised political parties and election officials in Pondicherry including Chief Secretary and the DGP."
"In Puducherry, the turnout was 84.08 per cent in the last Assembly elections and 81 per cent in the Lok Sabha elections. Voter turnout will be higher here due to higher literacy and awareness. We will conduct the election with transparency without any discrimination," he said.
There will be no change in the price of liquor in both states at present. The warehouses will be inspected to see if liquor, free items, vetti, sarees and gifts are stored in the warehouses to prevent the smuggling of liquor from Pondicherry to the neighbouring districts, as per the statement given by CEC.
"Serious action has been ordered against the officials of the Excise Department, Central Enforcement Department and related departments to violate the rules," he said.
"The election has already been stopped in Tamil Nadu for luring voters by giving them money prizes and gifts. The Election Commission will take drastic action against it," the CEC informed.
The small state of Pondicherry has an average electorate of 30,000 in each constituency. There are even constituencies with 200 voters in the northeastern states.
Legislative Assembly elections are scheduled to be held in Puducherry and Tamil Nadu between April-May 20201. (ANI)