Madhya Pradesh polls: Counting to be done in 22 rounds

Bhopal: Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Madhya Pradesh VL Kantha Rao informed that counting of the assembly election results, to be announced on Wednesday, will take place on an average in 22 rounds in each centre.

He said, “The counting for the assembly election results will start at 8 am tomorrow and it will be done in around 22 rounds. 15000 officers and workers will be put on duty for the task.”

Elaborating on trends and media briefings, he added, “The first trend is expected before 11 am so we have scheduled first press briefing at 11am and second briefing will be done in the evening at 5 pm that is when we expect the counting to be over”.

In order to ensure transparency, Rao further informed that machines which did not give clear results due to malfunctioning during mock polls, will be taken out in the last round and the results will be tallied with the VVPAT slips. He said: “Where mock polls were not clear, the machines will be taken in the last round and the Voter-verified paper audit trail slips will be counted”.

There will be 51 counting centres with each district headquarters having one centre. Kotma assembly constituency in Anup Pur district will have least number counting rounds, 15, because of the size of the constituency and longest will be in Indore 5 constituency with 32 rounds. Every Assembly will be counted on 14 tables at one go. Overseer, returning officer and collectors will be present with the candidates before opening of strong rooms.

Elaborating upon the instructions given by the Election Commission of India (ECI), Rao said: “ECI has directed us that after every round the tabulation, sheet will be given to the candidates for their signature.”

As much as 75 per cent voting was recorded in Madhya Pradesh on the November 28, the day of polling.

According to the ECI, in Madhya Pradesh where 230 Assembly seats are at stake, 75 per cent votes were polled in 227 constituencies while Baihal constituency in Balaghat district witnessed 78 per cent polling, 79.07 per cent in Lanji and 80.06 per cent in Paraswada Assembly constituencies. In 2013 assembly elections, MP had witnessed 72.13 per cent polling.

As many as 2,899 candidates were in the fray including 250 women and five third gender candidates. Out of a total of 65,367 polling booths spread across the state, 3,046 booths were completely managed by women poll officials.