Kerala's State Election Commission has announced that 74,899 candidates will contest the local body elections that are scheduled to be held next month. The local body polls will be held in three phases on December 8, 10 and 14.
The candidates in the fray comprise 38,593 men, 36,305 women and one transgender person. Elections would be held to 1,199 local bodies which includes 941 gram panchayats, 152 block panchayats, 14 district panchayats, 86 municipalities and six corporations.
On November 19, during the last day of filing of nominations, there were more than 1.5 lakh people who had filed nominations. But around half of the total candidates withdrew their nominations.
The total electorate stands at 2,71,20,823 which includes 1,29,25,766 males, 1,41,94,825 females and 232 transgender persons.
The Election Commission of Kerala recently issued guidelines that quarantined voters, including people tested positive for coronavirus, will be given provision to vote using special postal ballot papers. Categorised as â€˜special votersâ€™, the quarantined persons can either directly hand over their postal vote to the polling officer, or send it to the returning officer through another person or through mail.
Those who are quarantined or found to have COVID-19, after 3 pm on the day prior to the election, will be allowed to come directly to the polling station once all other voters have left. Special instructions have been issued for such voters who come directly to the polling station. Those coming directly to polling stations, have to wear gloves and should not make any other halt in between. The officers in charge of duty will be wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
Special COVID-19 election cell will be set up by District Medical Officers (DMOs) in the districts. Health inspectors and supervisors for monitoring the voting process for special voters, will be made available in these special cells.
(With inputs from IANS)