EC issues directions to CEOs of 5 poll bound states
The Election Commission has issued directions to the Chief Electoral Officers (CEOs) of the five poll bound states of Punjab, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Goa and Manipur for making fool proof security arrangements for counting of votes.
These directions are in addition to those issued earlier by the Commission regarding storage and safety arrangements of EVMs, appointment of counting staff, counting agents and counting procedures.
The Commission also had several rounds of video conferences with the CEOs and Returning Officers of all 5 States to take first hand inputs on the preparedness of the counting arrangements.
Giving details of security mechanism set up, the Senior Election Commission officer said that the ECI is not leaving any stone unturned to fair and transparent counting arrangements at all the 157 counting centres. Counting will take place at 53 centres in Punjab, 2 in Goa, 75 in Uttar Pradesh, 15 in Uttarakhand and 12 centres in Manipur.
The Election Commission has taken feedback from all political parties and candidates, based on which these additional instructions have been issued with a view to further bolster security arrangements to tackle both general as well as situation specific exigencies and ensure a smooth counting process in a transparent manner.
ECI has instructed all the CEOs and DEOs to make the above arrangements and undertake counting process cautiously, step by step and without undue haste so as to make them fool proof, the EC officer added.
The instruction includes proper barricading arrangements inside each of the counting hall with weld wires mesh to segregate the counting agents from the counting personnel and EVMs, proper arrangement for Videography in all the counting halls to record the general happenings in the counting hall for effective monitoring.
The Commission has also instructed that all counting arrangements must be completed by night of 7th March. It said, the Observers will visit the counting halls on 8th March and will send a report to the Commission on counting arrangements.
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