Local body election dates to be out on October 5

The dates for local self-government elections will be announced on October 5. The polls would be conducted in two phases with an interval of two days in between the poll dates, said State Election Commissioner K Sasidharan Nair.

The four northern districts along with three southern districts would go to the polls in the first phase while the second phase will cover the rest of the districts. The two day gap between the two phases is to make the deployment of police easy.

The Commissioner held consultations with Chief Secretary Jiji Thomson who has assured that the government will not transfer the staff identified by the commission for polling duty. Nearly 2 lakh staff would be deployed on polling duty.

Aided-school teachers, Anganwadi and Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) workers and employees of cooperative societies can also contest the election.

The final voters’ list will be published on October 5.

The polls will be over before the Sabarimala pilgrimage season starts.

The total election expenditure would go up to be about Rs. 170 crore this time after adding the costs of multi-post electronic voting machines.