Amidst EVM tampering allegations, EC taking nothing to chance in Gujarat
The Election Commission of India has taken no chances and has ensured top-level security as counting for the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh elections get underway today.
40,000 personnel will be deployed at the 37 centres where counting of votes will take place for the Gujarat polls.
Apart from 20,000 officials for counting of votes from EVMs, there would be more than 20,000 security personnel to ensure peaceful process across all centres. Gujarat's Chief Election Officer BB Swain said the counting process will begin at 8 am on Monday for all 182 Assembly constituencies across 33 districts of Gujarat.
Swain said that in Ahmedabad, the counting will take place at three venues while Surat and Anand districts will have two centres each for the process.
There would be 14 tables for each Assembly constituency where votes would be counted from EVMs. Every table will have one supervisor, one counting assistant, and one micro-observer.
For the first time in the history of elections in the country, Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines were used. VVPAT slips from any one booth selected through randomisation will be counted.
"There will be three-layered security checks at counting centres. Mobiles or any other electronic gadgets will not be allowed inside counting centres,'' said Swain, adding that one-time password (OTP) will be provided to returning officers responsible for handling EVMs for counting.
Their mobile phone numbers would be linked to the Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballot Paper System (ETPBS), he also said. Counting process would be initiated only after the OTP authentication of EVM, the officer also added.