The stage is now set for counting of votes for the assembly elections in Meghalaya as extensive security deployment has been made in 13 counting centres across the state.
The respective district election officers have imposed restrictions on public gathering in the premises of the counting venue including sloganeering and use of PA system and loud speakers. Only persons with valid identity card are allowed to enter the premises and mobile phones and cameras are prohibited inside the counting hall.
Chief Electoral Officer, FR Kharkongor said there will be three-tier security arrangements with central armed police forces guarding the innermost layer and state police will keep vigil of the second and third tier in the counting centres. The counting centres are also placed under CCTV and Web cast surveillance during the entire period and each table will be equipped with a counting observer assisted by four counting assistants, he added.
The Election Commission has deployed 27 counting observers and over 500 micro observers, who will also assist them at each table.
Counting in all the 13 centres including in Sohra Sub Division will commence at 8 am. He said and counting will initially begin with postal ballot count for the first 30 minutes followed by counting of polled votes in the EVM control units.
There will be a total of 383 rounds of counting with a maximum of nine rounds for the biggest AC Mawlai in East Khasi Hills and four rounds 4 rounds for smaller ACs like Dalu in West Garo Hills.
The CEO who had also inspected the counting arrangements at Polo grounds here informed that the counting centre in East Khasi Hills has the state’s maximum number of 14 counting halls, one each for each ACs. West Garo Hills District counting centre caters to 11 assembly constituencies and is the second largest counting centre in the State.
Informing that there were cases of non-deletion of mock data in seven polling stations—one each in Khliehriat, Rambrai and Mylliem, two each in Songsak and Salmanpara—he said the respective DEOs and ROs have been directed to strictly follow ECI protocols on counting.
Post counting of EVMs, five polling stations will be selected at random, through draw of lots and manual counting of five randomly selected EVMs will also be undertaken as per ECI protocols, he said.
A total of 18, 24,748 people cast their votes in the elections out of the total 21, 40,453 electorates. Of these voters who turned out to vote, 9, 42,416 were women and 8, 82,330 were men.
There were 3419 polling stations in the 59-assembly constituencies out of which 1565 polling stations were covered by webcasting to ensure proper monitoring.
A total of 369 candidates, including 36 women, are contesting the elections. Though Meghalaya has a 60-member assembly, polling in Sohiong constituency was adjourned following the death of former home minister and UDP candidate, HDR Lyngdoh.
Meanwhile, all the DEOs have issues necessary orders prohibiting victory rallies after the declaration of results till 4 pm of March 4. Traffic arrangements have also been made in all the district headquarters.
The 22 companies of the central armed police forces will also be retained till March 4 for any post-poll exigencies.
Leave a Reply