IT’S GOING to be volatile civic battle this time and the signs are already palpable with the BJP and the Congress fearing large-scale rigging by the ruling party.
The administration is also leaving nothing to chance. As over 17 lakh voters get ready to exercise their franchise, the district administration has beefed up security in the seven hypersensitive wards — Ramteerth, Babu Banarasi Das, Mahatma Gandhi, Triveni, Mankameshwar, Kanejia Madhopur, and Sarojini Pratham (II) — for poling on Tuesday. These wards have been allotted special security forces in anticipation of poll violence.
Movements of MPs and MLAs have also been restricted. “They have been asked to cast their votes and return to their homes,” additional district magistrate (ADM) N P Singh said. They have been asked not to roam around the city during election hours.
Polling will take place from 8 am in 1600 booths across the city. Thirteen companies of the PAC and RAF have been pressed in the service, while 6428 workers have been allotted duties in different polling booths and centres. Apart from this, 700 employees have been kept in reserve. Over 10,000 home guards have been pressed on polling duty.
“Though security has been beefed up in all the booths across the city, special attention is being given to the hypersensitive ones,” the ADM said. Two constables, including one armed, would be deployed in each booth. At centres with more than one booth, additional armed constables would be deployed, he added.
For a cluster of four booths, one SI and a head constable would be deployed in addition to home guards in every booth, the ADM said. For sensitive booths (areas) half section of PAC (comprising six cops) will be deployed in a cluster of six booths. And in a cluster of 6-11 booths, one-and-a-half section of PAC would be deployed. A mobile force would also keep strict vigil. The administration will also restrict the movement of vehicles. Essential services like milk, medical services, water tankers, gas etc will run unobstructed. Passes for special occasion like marriage, seminar etc would be given from room number 48 in Collectorate. Additional city magistrate and additional superintendent of police can also give permission in this regard.
Corporator aspirants will be allowed only one vehicle and those contesting for the mayor’s post will be permitted two vehicles.