The polling officer from Kerala’s Kollam district was suspended from duty over objections to wearing a mask with a CPI(M) party symbol. K Saraswathi, a senior grade PD teacher at KGV UP School in Elampalloor, was on duty at Velankonam Johns Cashew Factory polling booth as the first step of the Kerala local body election was underway on Tuesday. She was seen wearing a white mask with the symbol of the CPI(M) printed on it.
A few Congress workers extended objections and told Kollam District Collector B Abdul Nasar. She was instantly dismissed from duty after a primary investigation. After sub-collector Sikha Surendran submitted a detailed examination, the polling officer was suspended from duty.
The first phase of Kerala local body ballots was conducted on Tuesday. The polling percentage was 72.67%. State Election Commissioner V Bhaskaran informed the media that the higher rate of polling, even at the time of a pandemic, indicates people’s faith in democracy. The first phase of polling was in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alappuzha, Pathanamthitta, and Idukki. This contains two Corporations, 20 municipalities, and 50 block panchayats. A total of 34,744 polling stations have been positioned across Kerala for about 27 million voters.
More than 24,500 candidates are contesting from five districts in the first phase. More than 56,000 personnel were assigned for election duty. The second stage of the ballots will be held in Ernakulam, Kottayam, Thrissur, Palakkad, and Wayanad districts on December 10. The third and final phase is in Malappuram, Kozhikode, Kannur, and Kasaragod districts on December 14. The polls are conducted for the 1199 local bodies of Kerala. A total of 74,899 candidates are competing from the state this time.