Counting underway in four states and Puducherry

RSTV Bureau
Security officers guard sealed electronic voting machines (EVMs) at GCT College in Coimbatore. Photo-PTI

Security officers guard sealed electronic voting machines (EVMs) at GCT College in Coimbatore. Photo-PTI

Election Commission of India has made arrangements for smooth counting and early declaration of results all five states on Thursday.

Top election officials of the Election Commission of India reviewed the returning officers through video conferencing for the polls held for state assemblies along with by polls held in Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and Meghalaya.

Counting of votes for 294 seats in the West Bengal Assembly elections will be taken up at 8 AM on Thursday in 90 venues under full protection of both state and central forces. Officials said engineers from the Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) will be present in the counting centres to immediately provide technical assistance in the event of malfunctioning of EVMs.

“Altogether 294 counting observers one for each Assembly constituency will be deployed in West Bengal on May 19 for counting of votes,” state Chief Electoral Officer Sunil Gupta.

A polling officer arranges EVMs. Photo-PTI

A polling officer arranges EVMs. Photo-PTI

Altogether 78 companies of central armed forces are guarding the strong rooms where the EVMs are kept after the end of polling, officials said. The six-phase Assembly polls began in West Bengal on April 4 and concluded on May 5. The results will be declared on May 19.

In Assam, a three-tier security arrangement has been made at all counting centres in the 51 counting centres setup by EC. As many as 126 ECI observers are appointed as observers at counting centres.

“At each of the 1,771 counting tables, one micro observer shall be deployed. Entire counting process will be video graphed, “said an Election Official.

Election Officials also said that no victory procession will be allowed in any district without prior permission of the concerned district magistrate.  Polling for the 126 seats was held on April 4 and 11.

In southern states too EC has made elaborate arrangements for counting.  EC has set-up 80 counting centres for the 140 constituencies in Kerala for Thursdays counting.  All the 68 counting centres in Tamil Nadu will begin at 8 AM tomorrow with the counting of postal ballots.