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EC fails to provide info on TN results

Written by: Staff
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Chennai, May 11 (UNI) The Election Commission, which won accolades for the peaceful conduct of polls in Tamil Nadu, failed miserably when much-awaited results of the crucial Assembly elections were announced today.

A battery of mediapersons, who gathered at the State Secretariat to get the updates on election results, went into a tizzy as there was no flow of information from the office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) here even five hours after the counting of votes began.

Though it was earlier announced that elaborate arrangements had been made for dissemination of election results and the results for all 234 constituencies would be declared by 1100 hrs due to the use of electronic voting machines, the result of only one constituency was declared by 1200 hrs.

With the EC's much-touted website 'www.eci.gov.in' also collapsing, the reporters, who were literally in jitters, had to rely on the live telecast of election results by a host of private satellite channels.

However, it only added to the confusion, with two leading Tamil channels, affiliated to the AIADMK and the DMK, giving a totally contrasting picture on the trends in a manner favourable to them.

When the scribes frantically rushed to the CEO's office for clarification, they were 'advised' to watch a netural channel to get correct information.

Expressing helplessness, the officials explained that they were unable to contact Returning Officers as they had switched off their mobile phones and the hotline system was also dispensed with.

''We instructed the ROs to switch off their cellphones while the counting takes place. May be they have taken it too seriously,'' said a woman official in a lighter vein.

UNI AKN GM YA HS1715

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