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Assembly poll for TN, Pondy simultaneously: EC

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Chennai, Feb 24 (UNI) Conceding the demand of major political parties in the state, Election Commissioner N Gopalaswamy today said the Assembly elections for Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry would be held together.

''Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry were never separated and it has been the practice to hold the elections for the two states together,'' he said at a press conference after a review meeting with the Collectors and election officers of Chennai, Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram, Vellore, Villupuram, Tiruvannamalai and Cuddalore.

Exuding confidence of preparing a 100 per cent error-free electoral rolls, he said the EC had put in a mechanism wherein verification would be done thoroughly. The final rolls would be published by March 7, he added.

The EC was also expecting to complete 90 per cent of Electoral Photo Identity Cards (EPIC) coverage in the state before the elections, he said.

Stating that the work on EPIC coverage was not satisfactory in Villupuram, Cuddalore, Tiruvallur and Vellore districts, Mr Gopalaswamy said the work was expected to be completed before March 31 in some districts.

The Election Commission would also ensure that the copy of electoral rolls given to political parties and election officers at polling booths would be the same, he added.

Earlier, recognised political parties, including the ruling AIADMK, DMK, Congress, PMK, CPI and CPI(M), petitioned the Election Commissioner for a single-day polling and making EPIC mandatory for voters' identification.

The AIADMK urged the EC to ensure that all eligible voters above the age of 18 were included in the rolls. It also demanded that elections for Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Pondicherry be held together.

UNI AKN KVV VD KN2040

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