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Assembly election results: Stage set for counting of votes in 4 states, Puducherry | India News

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NEW DELHI: The Election Commission has made elaborate arrangements for counting of votes on May 2 for assembly polls in four states and Union Territory of Puducherry and put in place measures to ensure strict adherence to health safety protocols, amid a raging second wave of Covid-19.
Beginning 8 am, the counting of votes for the 822 assembly seats will take place at 2,364 counting halls. The commission has designated 822 returning officers and more than 7,000 assistant returning officers for the purpose of counting of votes.
No candidates or their agents will be allowed inside the counting halls without a negative Covid-19 report.
West Bengal
A three-tier security arrangement has been in place at 108 counting centres where polled electronic voting machines (EVMs), along with voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) units have been kept in strong rooms.
At least 292 observers have been appointed and 256 companies of central forces deployed at the counting centres spread across 23 districts of the state that voted in eight phases between March 27 and April 29.

South 24 Parganas district has the maximum number of counting centres at 15, while Kalimpong, Alipurduar and Jhargram have one each.
The majority of exit polls released after the eighth and final round of voting suggested that the ruling TMC might have an edge over BJP and the Left-Congress-ISF combine.
Assam
A three-tier security apparatus has also been arranged at the 331 counting halls across the state that voted in three phases on March 27, April 1 and April 6.
Unlike in 2016 assembly elections when there were 143 counting halls with 14 tables each, the number of tables has been reduced to seven per hall this time.

Wearing of face masks and use of sanitisers have been made mandatory for entering the counting halls. EVMs and VVPATs at the well-ventilated counting venues will be sanitised before the commencement of the process.
No public gathering outside the counting venue will be allowed during the process.
An average 82.04 per cent voter turnout was recorded in the three phase elections to 126 assembly constituencies.
Tamil Nadu
In Tamil Nadu, there are 75 counting centres spread across the state and all arrangements are in place to smoothly conduct the exercise, authorities said.
Cumulatively, there would be 3,372 EVM tables and depending on the constituency and votes polled, counting of votes is expected to range anywhere from 13 to 43 rounds in each of the 234 segments.

Authorities said the counting of votes would be in strict adherence to the EC guidelines to prevent the spread of coronavirus which includes RT-PCR testing for agents.
In Tamil Nadu, though there were four fronts including actor-politician Kamal Haasan‘s Makkal Needhi Maiam led combine, the key contest was between the ruling AIADMK and main opposition DMK, which exit polls have predicted that would wrest the reins of power.
Kerala
In Kerala, of the 633 halls in 114 counting centres, 527 will be earmarked for tabulating EVM votes while the remaining 106 will be for counting postal votes, Chief Electoral Officer.
In Kerala, as many as 957 candidates, including Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, 11 of his cabinet colleagues, Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala, Senior Congress leader Oommen Chandy, BJP state chief K Surendran, ‘Metroman’ E Sreedharan, and former Union minister, K J Alphons among others were in fray for the 140 assembly seats.

Though all the exit polls and pre poll surveys had predicted a massive win for the ruling front, the opposition UDF has not given up hope.
Puducherry
In the union territory of Puducherry, the former Chief Minister N Rangaswamy led All India NR Congress-BJP alliance and Congress-DMK combine are the key contenders for power. Exit polls have predicted a win for the front led by Rangaswamy.
As many as 1,382 personnel would be deployed for counting of votes in the whole of the UT while about 400 police personnel shall be on security duties.
The counting of postal ballots is set to begin at 8 am on Sunday after which the votes polled in the Electronic Voting Machines are expected to be taken up half an hour later.
(With agency inputs)

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