Party representatives can keep an eye on strongrooms: CEO : The Tribune India

Party representatives can keep an eye on strongrooms: CEO

Party representatives can keep an eye on strongrooms: CEO

Maneesh Garg, Chief Electoral Officer



Shimla, November 23

Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Maneesh Garg today said that all candidates could depute their representatives to keep a close watch on strongrooms where electronic voting machines (EVMs) were stored.

He held a meeting with the representatives of various political parties. “Representatives of political parties are allowed to stay in tents outside the outermost parameter of the strongrooms so that they can view their entry points,” he said. Facilities such as a proper shade, drinking water, toilets etc. would be provided to them, he added.

Garg said that where no direct view of strongrooms was available, CCTV cameras would be arranged so that the party representatives could view their doors. “If desired, they can periodically be taken to the inner parameter of the strongrooms in batches, to see and verify security arrangements,” he added.

The CEO said that there was a three-tier guarding system for the strongrooms. “The first tier, which is the innermost parameter, is guarded by CAPF armed guards through the day. A minimum one platoon of the CAPF is deployed to guard each strongroom round the clock. The second tier was of the state armed police and the third of the district executive force, he added.

Garg said the strongrooms would be opened in the presence of Returning Officers, Assistant Returning Officers, candidates, their election agents and the ECI observer. “The entire proceeding would be videographed. No candidate or agent will be allowed to take mobile phones, I-pads, laptops or any other recording device inside the counting hall,” he added.

He said that the counting of votes for the Assembly elections at 68 counting centres in the state would start at 8 am on December 8. He said that the counting agents would have to fill Form No. 18 and their request made on a plain paper would not be entertained. — TNS

Counting agents

Every candidate is allowed to appoint as many counting agents as the number of counting tables, besides one for the Returning Officer’s table and another for postal ballots. — Maneesh Garg, Chief Electoral Officer

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