Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Posted at: May 23, 2019, 7:08 AM; last updated: May 23, 2019, 7:08 AM (IST)

Voters’ mann ki baat today

Bansal, Kher or Dhawan? | Curiosity grows | All set for counting of ballots

How it will unfold

  • Strongrooms to be opened at 7 am
  • Counting to begin at 8 am
  • Counting centre to have 42 tables
  • Counting to be held in 15 rounds
  • Tally with VVPATs only after last round of counting
  • 200 staff members deployed for counting
Voters’ mann ki baat today
Cops barricade a road towards the counting centre in Sector 26 in Chandigarh on Wednesday.

Ramkrishan Upadhyay
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, May 22

The Election Commission has completed all preparations for the counting of votes polled in the Chandigarh Lok Sabha elections. The counting will start at 8 am tomorrow, but the result is likely to be delayed due to verification of votes with voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) machines.

Congress candidate Pawan Kumar Bansal, BJP candidate Kirron Kher and AAP candidate Harmohan Dhawan are among 36 candidates in the fray in these elections.

Mandip Singh Brar, Returning Officer-cum-Deputy Commissioner, said once the EVM counting was over, the VVPATs would be counted as per the directions of the Election Commission of India.

The counting would be held at the Chandigarh College of Engineering and Technology, Sector 26. Sources said the final results were expected to be announced by 10 pm or even later.

The counting centre will have 42 tables for the 597 polling booths and the counting will be held in 15 rounds. Besides the counting staff, one representative each of the candidates will also be present on the table. The results will be uploaded on the EC’s website after each round. Around 200 staff members have been deployed for the counting.

While the strongrooms will be opened at 7 am in the presence of an election observer and the candidates, the counting will commence at 8 am, starting with postal and electronic postal ballots. The tallying process will only begin after the last round of counting. According to EC officials, the elections also saw services voters (those in the defence), who sent their downloaded ballot through the electronic postal ballot system. This too may delay the result further.

This is the first time that the EVM results will be matched with VVPAT slips. In the General Election in 2014, the EC used VVPATs for a pilot run in eight of the 543 Lok Sabha constituencies. However, no tallying was done.

With the rejection of the demand of the Opposition to tally the VVPAT slips before the start of the counting by the EC today, the tallying will be  done only after the  counting  is  over. Around five VVPATs  will be randomly selected and counted. Brar  said elaborate  security  arrangements had  been made  for the counting. Only those with passes would be allowed inside the centres. Those entering would not be allowed to carry their mobile phones, he said.

The Administration has  already imposed prohibitory orders around the counting   centre. Parking arrangements have been made for  the public near the counting centre.

Avoid these roads today

Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, May 22 

The roads leading towards the Chandigarh College of Engineering and Technology (CCET), Sector 26, the counting centre for the Lok Sabha poll, should be avoided tomorrow as a large number of followers of political parties are expected to assemble outside the counting centre, which may lead to traffic snarls in and around Sector 26. The traffic police have also issued a traffic advisory for commuters. 

 Police officials said the road from the Hari Mandir turn towards the rear side of the showrooms in Sector 26 and the road from the National Institute of Technical Teachers Training and Research (NITTTR) towards the CCET will remain closed for the general public. The restrictions will be imposed from 6 am till midnight on May 23. “People are advised to avoid the road and adopt alternative routes tomorrow,” said a police official.

The police said entry would be allowed only to authorised persons, including candidates, counting staff and counting agents. 

Tight security in place

Elaborate security arrangements have been made outside the counting station to avoid any untoward incident. Police teams, a team of the operation cell, the Quick Reaction Team, PCR vehicles and mounted police staff will be present outside the venue. A three-tier security will be stationed around the counting centre.


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