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Eastern Provincial Council Polls:

Campaign hots up after Avurudu break

COLOMBO: Political parties and independent groups in the fray at the May 10 Eastern Provincial elections are braced for a hectic campaign following a break for the festive season.

The United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) is expected to adopt a change of strategy, according to General Secretary, Minister Susil Premajayantha, with pocket meetings and house to house campaigning taking precedence.

According to Minister Premajayantha, the UPFA has formed steering committees in all polling divisions with the concurrence of all political parties under its banner to carry the campaign forward.

The UPFA which has based its campaign slogan on Peace, Development and Democracy is supported by a number of constituent parties as well as the TMVP which swept the board at the recently concluded local polls in Batticaloa.

The other main contender, the United National Party (UNP) was expected to flag off its campaign with a rally in Ampara yesterday with the backing of its main ally the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC).

Meanwhile, the Chief Ministerial aspirant of the JVP Wimal Piyatissa told the Daily News yesterday that the problems within the party hierarchy did not have any impact on its polls campaign in the East.

The other major players in the contest the TDNA and the EPDP have decided to confine their campaign to pocket meetings and door to door visits.

According to Police no election related incident has been reported so far. However as a precautionary measure they have banned rallies after 6.00 p.m.

The Elections DIG for Batticaloa H.M.D. Herath told the Daily News that all was well upto now, but security arrangements were not relaxed and all measures were in place to meet any eventuality.

Refusing to divulge details, the DIG said an elaborate security plan would be in operation throughout the campaign and election day including providing security to candidates and political rallies.

The Eastern Provincial Council Elections is expected to elect 37 representatives to the council from 1,342 candidates.

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