With Opposition parties expressing doubts over the security of EVMs, Election Commission (EC) and police officials said all arrangements have been made for smooth counting of votes on Thursday for the 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh.
UP Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) L Venkateshwarlu told the media, “All preparations for counting have been made by the EC. We have been directed to match the votes with VVPAT slips in cases where after mock poll, votes on the EVMs were not cleared.”
Deputy Inspector General (Law and order) Praveen Kumar said all arrangements have been made. “There have been some incidents of protests in some districts due to rumours on social media. Police have made all arrangements to tackle the situation, and PAC, CAPC and police officials will be deployed at all counting centres,” a police statement said.
A three-tier security system has been put in place at the counting centres all over the state with deployment of sufficient number of personnel from paramilitary forces and state police to ensure smooth conduct of counting and strict compliance of law and order.
“A three-layered security will be deployed at all strongrooms. The security will maintain a 100-metre buffer zone and will not allow anyone, except officials, in the area,” the statement read
Security personnel have been deployed in large numbers across the state for the counting process, which will start at 8 am.
Extra precaution is being taken in about a dozen sensitive districts and prohibitory orders have been imposed, sources said, adding the EC has already banned victory processions and warned that no laxity in compliance of orders would be tolerated.
Venkateshwarlu said all officials had properly trainedfor the counting duty.
“Orders have also been issued to them to strictly follow the directives for the counting process,” the CEO said.
Though trends will be available at regular intervals during the counting, results will be declared only after approval from EC, he said.
“The announcement of results this time could take a little longer with five booths in each assembly segment of the Lok Sabha constituency to be cross-examined with VVPAT slips,” he said.
Polling for the 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh were held in seven phases with around 58 per cent of the total 14.76 crore voters exercising their franchise.
Other than EVM glitches at certain places, the polling in the state was peaceful.
Opposition parties, however, have expressed doubts over the security of EVMs kept in strongrooms in different constituencies and accused the district administration of favouring the ruling party.
— With PTI inputs