Polling for the first phase of rural local body elections in 27 districts of Tamil Nadu started today morning. The local body polls are being held in a staggered manner after a delay of over three years.
The polls are important for both Dravidian majors in the state. If the DMK swept the Lok Sabha polls, the AIADMK tasted significant success in bypolls to several Assembly seats. So both parties are approaching the current polls with caution.
Elections to 260 councillors of district panchayats, 2,546 councillors of panchayat unions and 37,830 panchayat presidents are being today. The second phase will be held on December 30. Local body elections in Tamil Nadu are being held after a gap of three years and this is the first time in the state’s history that elections to rural local bodies and urban seats are being held separately.
Sources said that more than 50,000 police personnel have been deployed on duty to ensure that there are no untoward incidents during the polling. About 24,680 booths have been set up for the polls. It is expected that 1.30 crore people will exercise their democracy duty in the first phase of election.
The second phase of rural local body polls slated for December 30 will witness elections in areas covered by 158 panchayat unions. The electors will choose 255 ward members of district panchayats, 2,544 members of panchayat unions and 38,916 members of village panchayats.
While the counting of votes will be taken up on January 2, 2020, indirect elections to elect district panchayat and panchayat union chairpersons and vice-chairpersons will be held on January 11. Every voter has to cast four votes in rural local bodies. Election officials said that arrangements have been made in such a way that voters do not get confused.