Mumbai: Crucial by-polls will be held in four states — Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Tripura and West Bengal today and all arrangements have been made by the Election Commission to conduct them in a free and fair manner amid tight security.
In Tamil Nadu, polls will be held in Thanjavur, Aravakurichi and Tiruparakundram. In all, eighty one candidates are in the fray from the AIADMK, DMK, BJP and MDMK.
Votes will be counted on Tuesday and the results will be announced on the same day. Voting will start at 7 a.m. and end by 5 p.m.
In Thanjavur, 276 polling booths have been set up for 268516 voters, in Aravakurichi, 245 polling booths have been set up for 200347 voters and in Tiruparakundram 291 polling booths have been set up for 285980 voters.
Live webcasting of the voting process in 96 booths in Aravakurichi, 275 booths in Thanjavur, and 254 booths will be monitored.
Fourteen candidates for Thanjavur, 39 for Aravakurichi and 28 candidates for Tiruparakundram are contesting the election.
The elections in Thanjavur and Aravakurichi were postponed after huge seizure of money by election commission flying squads during the election in May this year.
In Maharashtra, polling will take place for six legislative council seats and two local body seats (Bhandara-Gondia and Yavatmal from the Vidarbha region).
Counting of votes would be taken up on November 22.
By-polls will also be held in two Lok Sabha constituencies and one Assembly constituency in West Bengal.
By-polls will be held in Cooch Behar and Tamluk Lok Sabha constituencies and in Monteswar Assembly constituency.
The Trinamool Congress, BJP, Left Front and Congress have fielded their candidates in all three seats.
A by-election in Cooch Behar was necessitated by the death of TMC MP Renuka Sinha, while the by-election in Tamluk in East Medinipur district was caused by the resignation of TMC MP Suvendu Adhikari who also won the assembly poll and joined the state cabinet as transport minister.
The by-poll to Monteswar Assembly seat in Burdwan district is due to death of TMC MLA Sajal Panja.
In Tripura, by- elections will be held in the assembly constituencies of Khowai and Barjala.
In Khowai, out of 52 polling booths 10 booths have been designated as ‘A’ category, while remaining 42 have been designated as ‘B’ category. In Barjala, 12 of the 48 polling stations have been designated as ‘A’ category, while the remaining 36 have been designated as ‘B’ category.
Security measures have been beefed up with the deployment of central paramilitary forces in all sensitive polling stations in both constituencies.
For each constituency there are around 39,000 voters. According to political observers, the electoral battle will be among three forces i.e. TMC, BJP and CPI (M).
In the 2013 assembly elections, Barjala was captured by Congress candidate Jitendra Sarkar who later joined the CPI (M).
The Khowai constituency fell vacant after CPI (M) MLA Samir Deb Sarkar died a few months back.
The counting of votes will take place on November 22.