Himachal elections: ECI gears up for counting of votes
With the Hill State set for the 2012 poll result, Election Commission of India (ECI) is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that the arrangements for counting of votes are just right. Voting will take place in the supervision of central observers who have been given command specifically for this purpose.
Amidst tight security, counting of votes of the EVMs in 39 strong rooms across the state will start by 8.30 am, and postal ballot votes will be counted before opening the EVMs. Counting-trends are expected to start coming in around 9.30 am and the entire process is expect to span and get over in three to four hours in most centres, as stated in a report carried out by The Pioneer.
Each of the counting rooms have separate tables set up for supervision and the EVM data will be revealed to the public from the next hall. ECI has issued strict guidelines which ensure that no one except the officials will be allowed entry to the strong rooms where the counting will take place. “Only the returning officers will be allowed to enter the room and the counting will be done under his supervision along with central observers,” Chief Electoral Officer Narendra Chauhan was quoted as saying in the report.
Chauhan added that micro-observers and counting agents would also be present. He refused to comment on the expected time-period for the entire counting procedure to get over, emphasising on the fact that it has to meet the satisfaction of all the candidates. He said the process will have to be restarted if any candidate has a problem or complaint. “The arrangements have been made to make counting process a transparent and fair process to the satisfaction of everyone,” Chauhan was quoted.
Current Chief Minister, Prem Kumar Dhumal, is looking for a second term to steer his party BJP towards a repeat successful run. Scam-tainted Virbhadra Singh, on the other hand, is hoping for a victory to salvage his damaged image and give Congress something to be relieved about. Himachal Pradesh went to polls on November 4, and counting will take place December 20.
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