Puducherry and its outlying regions of Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam goes to Assembly polls on Tuesday in a single phase.
A total of 10,04,507 electors will exercise their franchise to decide the fate of 324 candidates in fray across 30 Assembly segments including five reserved constituencies. Of the 33 Assembly seats, three are nominated.
Security arrangements are being closely being monitored. The Election Commission announced that one all-women polling station to be set up in each Assembly constituency.
"The DEO, #Puducherry inspecting the Model Polling Station at the Petit Seminaire School, Moolakulam. Overall, there are 30 Model Polling Stations, 1 in each Constituency, and 28 All-Women Polling Stations for #PuducherryElections2021," tweeted the Election Commission of India.
A total of 34 companies of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) have been deployed in the Union Territory (UT).
Along with that, the Election Commission (EC) has also constituted 105 flying squads, 105 static surveillance teams, 26 rolling static surveillance teams, and 35 video surveillance teams to ensure the free and fair execution of polling.
For the elections, as many as 1,558 polling stations, including 952 main and 606 auxiliary polling stations, have been set up in the UT in 635 locations.
In the run-up to the polls, Puducherry police have so far seized 5.40 crore rupees and liquor worth more than 68 lakh rupees, the EC said. To ensure a safe election, the EC has restricted the number of electors per polling station to 1,000.
Purva Garg, District Collector, Puducherry on March 31 informed that polling will start from 7 am and shall go on till 7 pm, with the last one hour dedicated for COVID-19 positive patients to cast their votes.
As far as people under home isolation are concerned, postal ballots have been arranged for them, said the district collector.
The counting of votes will take place on May 2.
The election, in the union territory, is a keen contest between the Congress-DMK alliance and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) comprising All India NR Congress, All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The Congress-led alliance consists of Congress, contesting 15 seats, followed by Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), which will fight on 13 seats along with the Communist Party of India (CPI) and the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), each of which will be contesting on one seat.
The NR Congress (AINRC) is contesting 16 of the 30 seats, while the BJP is contesting on 9 seats and AIADMK with 14.
Among some prominent faces facing the ballot today are Congress' P Selvanadane will contest from Kardirgamam assembly seat, M Kannan from Indira Nagar, Karthikeyan from Oussudu, and Ramesh Preambath from Mahe. Gollapalli Srinivas Ashok, an independent candidate supported by Congress in Yanam, is a prominent face beside R Siva of the DMK.
From NDA's camp, AINRC chief N Rangasamy is also contesting from Thattanchavady apart from Yanam.
BJP Puducherry president V Swaminathan is seeking election from the Lawspet constituency. Kamal Haasan's Makkal Needhi Maiam party is also contesting from some seats in Puducherry.
(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)