After years of political and legal complexities, Tamil Nadu is finally witnessing the local body polls after three years. Polling began for the first phase of rural local body elections in 27 districts of Tamil Nadu, on Friday at 7 am. Areas covered by 156 panchayat unions will go to the polls to elect 260 ward members for district panchayats, 2,546 members for panchayat unions and 37,830 members for panchayats.
The police have been deployed in large numbers in areas going to polls. This comes as the panchayat unions polling on Friday are high in numbers. Almost 60,000 policemen have been deployed in these 27 districts where the polling is happening. Elaborate arrangements have been made at vulnerable polling stations. A total of 24,680 polling stations have been arranged and over 1.40 lakh EVMs have been put in place for the elections.
Local body elections are happening in the state after a delay of more than three years due to various legal complications like denomination of the wards and reservations. Elections to urban local bodies including the Chennai city and other corporations will be held later and mayors/town panchayat chairperson will be appointed through indirect election method. This was changed after the Tami Nadu government passed an ordinance recently.
The second phase of elections will be held on December 30. The elections, in the remaining places, will be during this phase. Results will be announced on January 2. The elections in newly formed districts are not happening at the moment as the delimitation of wards has not been done by the state election commission.
However, the Supreme Court has ordered the state election commission to conduct the elections in the other old districts by using the data which already exists.