Lucknow, May 23 (GCCurrentAffairs) Counting of votes at 77 centres in Uttar Pradesh for 80 Lok Sabha seats commenced at 0800 hours amid unprecedented security cover.
Prime minister Narendra Modi (Varanasi), UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi (Rae Bareli), Congress president Rahul Gandhi (Amethi), Union Home minister Rajnath Singh ( Lucknow), Samajwadi Party patriach Mulayam Singh Yadav (Mainpuri), Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav (Azamgarh) along with several union ministers and Bollywood star are among the 979 candidates in the fray from the state.
The counting personnel would have to count 1,63,484 EVMs, where polling was held in the same number of booths. A total of 147 central counting observers would be deployed to monitor the fairness of the counting process.
Elaborate security have been made at the polling centers and in the sensitive districts with 200 companies of central para military forces and 100 companies of PAC along with over 2 lakh district police would be deployed to maintain law and order.
All the counting centres have already turned a fortress and security personnel have taken the charge with allowing only the people having valid pass to enter it.
Though Election Commission has strictly banned victory procession and other celebrations in the state and all the district authorities have clamped section 144 of the CrPC to prevent anti-social elements to create nuisance, but still the authorities are leaving no stone unturned in the security matter.
Liquor shops will also be closed for the entire counting day. Along with 80 Lok Sabha seats, results of two assembly bypolls- Nighasan in Kheri district and Agra (north) would also be counted.
State Chief Electoral Officer(CEO) Vekenteshwar Lu said here on Thursday that counting of votes have started at all the counting centres at a smooth note.
The CEO said that the trends would be available after completion of entire round of counting while the results would be declared after getting approval from the Commission. At first the postal ballots would be counted and then only EVMs would be taken up.
Mr Lu said that there are 77 counting centres in 75 districts of the state, with only Azamgarh and Kushinagar districts would have two counting centres.
He said that 14 tables have been put on in each constituency besides one table would be for the Assistant Returning officer (ARO).
In each table there would be one counting supervisor and a counting assistant besides counting agents of the candidates.
“The results would be late this time as 5 booths in each of the assembly segments of a Lok Sabha constituency would be examined with the VVPAT slips,” he added.
Each lok Sabha constituency in UP has 5 assembly segments and hence 25 booths in each Lok Sabha constituency would be selected through lottery for VVPAT slip checking as per the EC’s direction.
UP went for 7 phase polling covering all the 80 Lok Sabha seats where around 58 per cent of the total 14.76 crore voters exercised their franchise. The polling was totally peaceful with most of the seats went for a triangular contest between BJP, the opposition alliance of SP-BSP-RLD and the Congress.