Tamil Nadu Chief Electoral Officer Satyabrata Sahoo on Tuesday advised political parties not to indulge in any form of campaigning once the ‘silence period’ begins. Section 126 of the Representation of People Act, 1951 prohibits election campaign activities through public meetings, processions, etc, and displaying of election matter by means of television and similar apparatus during 48-hours, between the deadline for the end of campaigning and the end of voting.

The prohibition is aimed at providing a period of silence for quiet deliberation ahead of voting day.

Campaigning for 39 Lok Sabha seats in Tamil Nadu, which goes to the polls on April 18, will come to a close at 6 pm Tuesday.

The CEO exuded confidence that higher number of voters would turnout to vote on April 18 by crediting expectations to extensive awareness measures taken up by the poll panel.

“The silence period begins at 6 pm on Tuesday and no political party or candidate should indulge in any campaign.

We have informed all political parties about this,” Sahoo told reporters.

Expecting higher voter turnout, Sahoo said, “For parliamentary polls normally the voter turnout is around 73 per cent, which is lesser than the assembly polls.

But this time we are expecting higher numbers because of Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation activities and awareness campaigns through celebrities.”

Over 70,000 police personnel would be involved in poll related work while a similar number of police personnel would be handling law and order.

Of a total 67,720 polling booths, the CEO said 8,293 were sensitive and critical. These would be monitored by micro observers, webcasts, video surveillance and additional central paramilitary personnel.

“Around 160 companies of paramilitary forces have come to Tamil Nadu. They all will be deployed based on a plan submitted to us by respective district observers, DEOs, SPs and Commissioners,” he said.

The CEO said all vehicles carrying electronic voting machines would be equipped with GPS systems.