Counting of votes will begin at 8 am in 11 Lok Sabha constituencies of Chhattisgarh: Reena Babasaheb

The Uncut

Raipur: Chief Electoral Officer Reena Babasaheb Kangale held a press conference regarding the preparations for the counting of votes for the Lok Sabha elections 2024. Counting of votes in all 11 Lok Sabha constituencies for the Lok Sabha elections 2024 will begin tomorrow 04-06-2024 at 8.00 am. Counting of votes for all 11 Lok Sabha constituencies will be done in 33 district headquarters under the Lok Sabha constituency and counting of votes for each assembly constituency will be done in a separate hall.

94 counting halls have been set up for counting of votes in the state, in which counting of votes will be done in one hall each in all the remaining 86 assembly constituencies except two each in Ramanujganj, Samari, Kondagaon and Keshkal assembly constituencies. The complete address of the counting places, date, time and prior information about the counting process have been provided to all the candidates by the returning officers. As per the instructions of the Election Commission of India, counting day dated 04 June, 2024 has been declared a dry day in all the districts of the state.

11 Returning Officers, 476 Assistant Returning Officers, 4362 counting personnel and 1671 micro-observers have been appointed for counting of votes in 90 assembly constituencies in 11 Lok Sabha constituencies. Election Commission of India has appointed 42 counting observers for 90 assembly constituencies in 11 Lok Sabha constituencies. At each counting table, there will be a counting supervisor, counting assistant and a micro-observer as representative of the observer, who will be an officer of a Central Government undertaking.

In each hall, for counting the votes of the assembly constituencies included in the Lok Sabha constituency, counting will be done on 21 tables in 6 assembly constituencies namely Pandaria, Kawardha, Sarangarh, Bilaigarh, Bharatpur-Sonhat and Kasdol and on 14 tables in all other 84 assembly constituencies. The returning officer of 11 Lok Sabha constituencies will first count the postal ballots, and 30 minutes after its start, counting of votes will begin in the assembly constituencies of the returning officer’s headquarters. Counting of votes of assembly constituencies of 22 districts situated other than the returning officer’s headquarters district will begin at 8.00 am.

The counting of postal ballots will be done only at the headquarters districts of the Returning Officer. Separate halls have been set up for counting postal ballots (two halls each in Kanker and Mahasamund and one hall each in the remaining 9 Lok Sabha constituencies) and one counting table has been arranged for a maximum of 500 postal ballots.

Apart from this, technical staff, scanners and computers have been arranged as per the requirement for pre-counting of votes. Each counting hall will have separate entry gates for candidates/counting agents and there will also be separate entry gates for the Returning Officer/Assistant Returning Officer and other employees engaged in counting.

Photo identity cards have been issued to all candidates, counting agents and their election agents. Everyone is expected to enter the counting hall with their identity cards by 7.00 am so that they do not face any inconvenience. Three-tier security arrangements have been made at the counting centres, where entry will be given only after checking the identity card at every level.

District police force will be deployed at the first and outer level of the counting centres, from where an area of ​​100 meters will be a pedestrian zone. One entry gate will be duly barricaded for entry into the counting premises. No vehicle will be allowed to enter the pedestrian zone. Adequate local police force along with one senior magistrate will be arranged to check the identity of the entrants at the first level.

In the second level, State Armed Force will be deployed. Before entering, every person will be checked and searched on the basis of identity card, so that no one enters with mobile and other prohibited items. In the third level, Central Police Force (CPF) will be present at the door of the counting hall. At this level also, everyone will be searched, so that no one enters with mobile and other prohibited items.

A media centre will be set up at each counting centre, where a senior officer will be appointed who will take in small numbers of media groups, up to a certain limit, to observe the counting halls from time to time.

Media personnel will not be allowed to do photography or videography with any static camera in the counting hall. Media personnel will be able to cover the counting process only with handheld cameras while maintaining the secrecy of voting. The place where the media will be allowed to enter the counting hall will be marked by the Returning Officer and all concerned will be informed.

Only the following persons may be allowed to enter the counting hall –

1) Returning Officer / Assistant Returning Officer

2) Counting supervisor, counting assistant and micro observer

3) Persons and observers authorised by the Election Commission

4) Public servants on duty in connection with the election 5) Candidates, their election agent and counting agent As per the latest instructions of the Commission, Central and State Ministers, Ministers of State and Deputy Ministers, Mayor of Municipal Corporation, Chairman of Nagar Panchayat/Municipality, Chairman of District/Janpad Panchayat and other protected persons will not be permitted to be appointed as counting agents.

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