Nagpur: All those planning to stay glued to their television sets to catch early trends on Lok Sabha polls are set to be little disappointed as it is not going to happen that quick.
As counting for Lok Sabha elections begins at Kalamna market on Thursday for both Nagpur and Ramtek Lok Sabha constituencies, the frequency of results or trends will take much longer time unlike previous elections when only EVM tally was done. This year, with the introduction of voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT), the results may eventually jump past midnight of Thursday.
On Tuesday collector Ashwin Mudgal confirmed this while addressing media.
Elaborate arrangements have been made at fruit auction halls no 3 and 4 at Kalamna market where counting will begin early Thursday morning.
The counting will be stretched to 19 rounds for Nagpur and 25 rounds for Ramtek LS seats. In Nagpur, the highest number of rounds is for the South West Constituency (19) while in Ramtek, Kamptee would have 25 rounds.
No Mobiles Please!
Results of all rounds would be informed to the media and contestants through WhatsApp and e-mail and also through loudspeakers at counting centre.
Mobiles have been strictly prohibited inside the entire area, except for the observers.
First round in first hour
“The first round of counting at both constituencies would start from 8am with postal ballots while EVM counting would begin from 8.30am. The first round would take one hour to complete and subsequent rounds would take 45-50 minutes approximately,” said Mudgal who is also the returning officer (RO) for Nagpur constituency. Accompanied by additional collector Shrikant Phadke, who’s returning officer (RO) for Ramtek constituency, Mudgal informed that the Election Commission of India (ECI) has appointed five observers for both constituencies. Of them, two would be deputed for Nagpur and three for Ramtek.
Three tier security
Elaborating on the security arrangements, Mudgal said it would be three-layered spread across the Kalamna Market. At the entry gates, local cops would handle the visitors. Inside, the State Reserve Security Force (SRPF) would keep a close watch on all activities.
Walls to be broken
Mudgal added that EVM machines were kept in the strong room and would be opened on Thursday after 6.30am. “First the cement wall which was erected in front of strong room’s gates would be broken before opening the locks. It would take place in front of candidates or their representatives. Later those machines would be transferred to the counting halls. While EVMs for Nagpur constituency would be ferried in white Maruti Omni vans, for Ramtek, those would be transferred in yellow vehicles.”
He added that once the counting would began, the officials on duty would press the result button after which tally of each of candidate would be displayed on the computer. “In Nagpur, there are 30 candidates with NOTA, so their votes would be displayed one by one. We’ve arranged two methods of counting — one is through calculator and other is through excel sheet.”
The collector informed that a total of 888 officials would be deployed in the counting duties, of which 444 would work in each of the constituency. “They were already given training on how to behave professionally and their mock drills would be conducted on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. Even the candidates and their representatives have been told to behave professionally,” he said.