Counting preparations completed at 34 centres in Telangana


by IANS | Tue, Jun 04, 2024, 09:23 AM

Hyderabad, June (IANS) Counting of votes polled for 17 Lok Sabha seats in Telangana will be taken up at 34 counting centres amid tight security on Tuesday.

Counting of votes for the Secunderabad Cantonment Assembly constituency, where a by-election was held along with Lok Sabha polls, will be taken up simultaneously.

Chief Electoral Officer Vikas Raj said the process will start at 8 a.m. in all the centres where a total of 120 halls have been earmarked for counting of votes.

Postal ballots will be counted first and this will be followed by the counting of votes cast in the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).

A total of 1,855 tables have been arranged for the counting of votes cast in EVMs. There are 19 counting halls for counting 2.18 lakh postal ballots. There will be two counting halls each for Chevella and Malkajgiri constituencies.

The election authorities have also arranged 276 tables for counting of postal ballots at all centres.

According to the CEO, over 10,000 staff will be posted on counting duties while an additional 20 per cent workforce will be on standby. A total of 49 central observers and 2,414 micro-observers will monitor the counting process.

A three-layered security is in place at the counting centres for peaceful and smooth conduct of the process. Twelve companies of the Central Armed Police Force, guarding the EVM strong rooms, will oversee security in coordination with state police.

The first layer of security will be for the counting hall while there will be a second tier for the campus. The third layer of security will cover 100 metres around the campus, where vehicles will not be allowed.

The authorities will keep a tight vigil with CCTV cameras installed in all counting halls. Prohibitory orders under section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code have been imposed near the centres.

As a precautionary measure, authorities have announced the closure of liquor shops on Tuesday.

Following the initial EVM vote count, Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) slips from five randomly selected polling stations in each Assembly segment will be tallied with the EVM count. Post-counting, the EVMs will be stored in strongrooms for 45 days in case any election petitions are filed.

Hyderabad, Nalgonda and Karimnagar will have maximum counting rounds of 24 each. Nizamabad will have only 15 rounds of counting.

A voter turnout of 65.67 per cent was recorded in the polling held on May 13.

A little over 3.17 crore voters, half of them women, were eligible to cast their votes. Of them, 2.18 crore cast their votes.

Most of the constituencies witnessed three-cornered contests among the ruling Congress, the main opposition Bharat Rashtra Samiti (BRS) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

In the 2019 elections, the ruling BRS had bagged 9 seats, BJP won four seats and Congress three seats. All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) had retained one seat.

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