Bhubaneswar: While the stage is set for the counting of votes in Odisha, which is scheduled to begin on Thursday morning, preparations are complete in all the counting centres in the districts as well as the office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) in the state capital.
Talking to mediapersons here on Wednesday, CEO Surendra Kumar said preparations are complete in 63 centres across the state where the counting will be held in 152 halls.
“It has been decided that after one round of counting, the returning officer will come out of the counting centre and announce the voting trend. The counting will begin at 8 am,” he added.
Elaborate security arrangements have been made in each counting centre. To ward off any untoward incident, three-tier security arrangements have been made with the deployment of additional police force.
“A total of 172 platoons of Special Armed Force and 69 companies of the Central Armed Force personnel have been deployed in all the 30 districts. Besides, the Special Operation Group (SOG) and the District Voluntary Force (DVF) personnel have been deployed in the Left Wing Extremism (LWE) districts. The security personnel have been asked not to allow any unauthorised person into the counting centres and strictly adhere to the guidelines of the Election Commission of India (ECI),” Director General of Police (DGP) R.P. Sharma told the media.
The CEO informed that counting of one lakh postal ballots, more than 43,000 service votes and the EVM votes will be held simultaneously. On an average, there will be 30 rounds of counting in each Assembly constituency. Arrangements have been made for videography during the counting. No one is allowed to carry mobile phone or any electronic equipment to the counting centre.