As Puducherry goes to polls on Tuesday, as many as 1,558 polling stations, including 952 main and 606 auxiliary polling stations, have been set up in the UT in 635 locations.
Polling started from 7 am and shall go on till 7 pm, with the last one hour dedicated for COVID-19 positive patients to cast their votes.
To ensure a safe election, the EC has restricted the number of electors per polling station to 1,000. A total of 30 constituencies across the UT are going to polls, in which 324 candidates are in the fray.
Of the 30 assembly seats, five are reserved for the Scheduled Caste candidates. A total of 10,04,507 electors will exercise their franchise to decide the fate of 324 candidates. The counting of votes will take place on May 2.
Elections in Puducherry, which is currently under President’s Rule, is mainly between the Congress-DMK alliance and the NDA comprising All India NR Congress, AIADMK and BJP.
The NDA in the Puducherry is a rare case where the BJP is not the largest constituent of the alliance. The BJP is contesting on nine seats with the alliance led by the All India NR Congress contesting on 16 seats, and the AIADMK on five seats.
The Congress, whose government in the Union Territory fell in February before completing its five-year term under the Chief Minister V Narayansamy, has also ceded its ground to its allies in Puducherry, giving 13 seats to the DMK and one each to the Communist Party of India and the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi.
The party skipped fielding former Chief Minister Narayanasamy and is contesting on only 14 out of its 15 seats. Congress has not fielded any candidate from Yanam constituency, the second seat from where AINRC chief N Rangasamy is contesting and is supporting an Independent candidate Gollapalli Srinivas Ashok.
In the 2016 assembly polls, Congress had won 15 seats, All India NR Congress eight seats, AIADMK got four seats, DMK walked away with two MLAs. BJP could not win any seats.