AP Polls: 374 MLA candidates, 64 MP nominees get security over ‘threat perception’

The CEO stated that as of April 25, there were 4,14,1,887 voters in the state, of which 2.10 crores were women and 2.02 crores were men

By Sistla Dakshina Murthy  Published on  2 May 2024 12:10 PM GMT
the CEO stated that as of April 25, there were 4,14,1,887 voters in the state, of which 2.10 crores were women and 2.02 crores were men

Amaravati: As many as 454 candidates are contesting for 25 Lok Sabha seats, while 2,387 candidates are contesting for 175 Assembly seats in the state, said AP chief electoral officer (CEO) Mukesh Kumar Meena.

Speaking to the media on Thursday at the Secretariat in Velagapudi, the CEO stated that as of April 25, there were 4,14,1,887 voters in the state, of which 2.10 crores were women, 2.02 crores were men, 3,421 third gender voters and 68,185 service electors, they would all cast their vote on May 13.

There is a 5.94 lakh voter discrepancy between January 22 and April 25, he said and added that based on the state’s final electoral roll published on January 22, which showed 4.08 crore voters in the state.

“In a first-of-its-kind, we have sent the entire list of candidates contesting for both the Assembly and Parliament constituencies to DGP KV Rajendranath Reddy and ADGP Intelligence and asked them to go through the security assessment of all the candidates. Based on the threat perception for the candidates, as many as 374 MLA candidates and 64 MP candidates will be getting security from Friday as per the threat perception report given by the police,” the CEO said.

100% webcasting in 14 Assembly seats

Mukesh Kumar Meena said that the state has a total of 46,389 polling stations.

Of the total, 12,438 are critical polling stations and the total number of polling stations where webcasting would be done is 29, 897, which means around 64 per cent of the polling stations.

Apart from that, the state election observers who toured the state in the last month suggested a few Assembly constituencies in the state where webcasting should be done 100 per cent in the polling stations, following complaints and apprehensions of the public, he said.

“Based on the recommendations given by the state election observers, 100 per cent webcasting will be done in 14 Assembly constituencies: Macherla, Gurajala, Vinukonda and Pedakurapadu in Palnadu district, Ongole, Allagada, Tirupati, Chandragiri Vijayawada Central, Punganur and Palamaner, Pileru, Rayachoti and Tambalapalle. Apart from webcasting in the 14 constituencies, the state election observers also suggested deploying more CRPF personnel,” Mukesh Kumar Meena said.

Home voting

Giving details about the home voting procedure, the CEO said that out of a total of 7.28 lakh voters including elderly people and differently-abled people, only 28,500 had opted for home voting under Form 12 D.

Only three per cent of the voters opted for home voting and it is a positive sign that every voter wants to come out and cast their vote at their respective polling stations. Meena called on the electorate to check their names and polling stations at the ECI website and on the voter helpline app.

As many as 31,000 people (fire services, electricity employees and others) have given their consent to cast their vote under essential services and all of them would be allowed to cast their vote through postal ballot, he said, and added that by May 8 home voting and postal ballot voting would be completed in the state.

The requirement for ballot units increased

The CEO also said that the requirement for ballot units increased in the state as there was a rise in the number of contesting candidates.

For instance, the Visakhapatnam Parliament constituency has 33 candidates which requires three ballot units. In 11 Parliamentary constituencies, more than one ballot unit would be utilised. When it comes to Assembly constituencies, Mangalagiri and Tirupati would require three ballot units each. Apart from these two constituencies, two ballot units were required in more than 20 Assembly constituencies, he said and added that 15,000 more ballot units are procured from Bengaluru and they would be sent to six districts in the state.

MCC violations

Informing about the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) violations, he said that 864 FIRs were filed related to enforcement such as loudspeaker violations, irregular meetings and others. Over 9,000 cases related to seizures, as many as 16,349 complaints were received under c-Vigil among them 10,403 complaints were found verified and action was initiated.

The state also reported incidents of violence after the MCC came into force in which two persons died and 156 persons were injured. The total seizures in the state had crossed the Rs 200 crore mark on Thursday and it stood at Rs 203 crores.

Rs 382 crore worth of seizures

Mukesh Kumar Meena said the police and other enforcement departments had started the seizures on January 1 after the Election Commission of India (ECI) visited the state and the total seizures amounted to Rs 179 crore till March 16.

Of the total, Rs 47 crores is in cash, Rs 28 crore worth liquor, Rs 3.6 crore worth drugs, Rs 105 crore worth of precious metals and Rs 14 crore worth of other items between March 16 and May 2, he said.

In all, the total seizures in the state stood at Rs 382 crores, he said.

Safety measures in polling stations

Further, Meena observed that safety measures would be put in place at polling stations prone to heat waves, such as setting up tents, canopies, umbrellas and shade structures, along with providing chairs.

Likewise, cooling devices such as fans will be arranged at necessary polling stations for maintaining comfortable temperature for voters and polling personnel, including drinking water facilities at all the polling stations.

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