Home Election All Set For Counting

All Set For Counting

Bhubaneswar: Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Susil Kumar Lohani has made elaborate arrangements for the counting of votes of the crucial Padampur by-poll.

Briefing media persons here, Mr. Lohani said counting will be held tomorrow. The counting will start at 8 AM at RMC Godown, Padampur.  

Initially, counting of postal ballots will be taken up at 8 AM. All the postal ballots received from service voters (24) as well as absentee voters (272) i.e. total 296 postal ballots will be taken up for counting. Postal ballots from service voters will also be included which are received till 7.59 AM on the counting day, he said.

Total votes in 319 booths will be counted in 14 tables in each round. There will be 23 rounds of counting for the by-poll. So, the counting process may be delayed, the CEO said.

Mr.Lohani said after completion of EVM counting, VVPAT slips of five booths selected randomly will be taken up for counting to cross verify the EVM figures.

Each table will have three persons, one counting supervisor, one counting assistant and one micro observer (belongs to Central Government). There will be sufficient reserve personnel. All of them have been properly trained, he said.

Allotment of table to the counting staff will be done on a random basis. Counting will be done under the supervision of a returning officer who will be assisted by one ARO.

The General Observer appointed by ECI will also remain present throughout to oversee the counting process, he added.

To handle any technical issue arising during counting, two engineers will be available in the counting centre.

Each candidate can appoint one agent for each table and one for counting agents for the RO table for counting postal ballots etc. Besides, the candidate or his/her election agent can remain present in the counting hall.

Except RO and the General Observer  nobody is allowed to carry mobile phones inside the counting hall.

Adequate security arrangement has been made in and around the counting centre. Entire 100 meters zone will be declared as pedestrian zone. There will be three tier security consisting of central armed police force, state armed police and local police, the CEO informed.

Media room has been planned in the counting centre as per guidelines of ECI. Accredited media persons will be allowed to enter the counting hall in a regulated manner by a senior officer.

Round wise results will be disseminated to the public online through ECI portal: results.eci.gov.in.

In the CEO office, arrangements have also been made for media persons to get easy access to counting results and other related information.

Notably, the by-poll for Padampur was held on December 5. Fate of 10 candidates including BJD, BJP and Congress will be known tomorrow.

The Governing BJD has nominated Barsha Singh Bariha, daughter of late MLA Bijaya Ranjan Singh Bariha, whose death necessitated the by-poll.

The BJP has nominated Pradip Purohit, who had won the seat in 2014 but lost to BJD’s Bijaya Ranjan Singh Bariha in 2019 with a margin of 5734 votes. Congress fielded three-time MLA Satya Bhusan Sahu.

While Congress has already admitted its defeat in the by-poll, Governing BJD and Opposition BJP pinned hope to win the seat.

The by-election assumes significance in the wake of the BJD’s loss in Dhamnagar, its first such defeat since 2009. This election result would indicate if electoral scales were tilting against the Naveen Patnaik-led BJD ahead of the 2024 General Election and State Legislative Assembly elections.