Puducherry Unified Ministerial Staff Association estimates figure to be above 100
In spite of the setback to its preparations for counting on May 2 with a significant number of polling staff testing positive for COVID-19 over the last few days, the Elections Department is geared to ensure that the process goes on smoothly and declaration of results are on schedule. While exact numbers of polling officials who will miss out on election duty after testing positive are not immediately available, the Puducherry Unified Ministerial Staff Association says that the figure is above 100.
A. Rajendran, Association spokesman, said at least two officials had died after contracting COVID-19 and one person deputed as returning officer remained in critical condition in a Chennai hospital. The Association has also urged the Chief Electoral Officer to set up adequate safeguards for election officials in the wake of several polling personnel testing positive for COVID-19 and some in a critical condition battling for life. The Department is putting together the extent of COVID-19 impact on election staff, said Chief Electoral Officer Shurbir Singh. However, this would not have any impact on the counting process, he said. "The counting process will go unhindered. Sufficient reserve staff is available," he said.
Puducherry, which has an electorate of 10.04 lakh, had recorded a turnout of 81.69%. The counting will involve tabulating an estimated 8.20 lakh votes from 30 constituencies.
The counting centres for all the 23 constituencies in Puducherry region will be the three colleges in Lawspet. While the counting centres for Oupalam, Orleampeth, Mudaliarpet, Nellithope, Ariankuppam, Manavely, Embalam, Nettapakkam and Bahour will be the Women’s Polytechnic, the counting centres for Mannadipet, Thirubhuvanai, Ossudu, Mangalam, Villianur, Ozhukarai, Kadirgamam, Indira Nagar and Thattanchavady will be Mothilal Nehru Government Polytechnic. The counting centres for Kamaraj Nagar, Muthialpet, Raj Bhavan, Lawspet and Kalapet will be the Tagore Arts College.
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