The Election Commission (EC) has clarified that the law does not prescribe any specific qualification for a person to be appointed as counting agents but advised candidates in the poll fray to nominate only mature persons who were above 18 as their counting agents so that their interests could be properly taken care of.
Announcing this here on Monday, additional chief electoral officer Raminder Singh said that according to a communication received from the EC, security personnel were not allowed to enter the counting hall, so no sitting minister either of the union government or the state government, sitting MP, MLA or any other person having security cover provided by the state (by the union or state governments) would be allowed to act as election agent, polling agent or counting agent of any candidate.
He also clarified that no person having a security cover could act as such agent of a candidate.
“He cannot enter the counting hall along with security personnel, his security cannot be put to jeopardy by allowing him to enter the hall without any security cover,” he added.
He said the EC had further clarified that any sitting union minister or a minister in state, any sitting MP or MLA, chairperson of urban local bodies, elected chairpersons of national, state and district co-operative institutions, political functionaries appointed as chairpersons of central or state-level public sector undertakings, chairpersons of gover nment bodies, and government pleader and additional government pleader could not be appointed as counting agents.
The communique clarified that there was no restriction that only local persons would be permitted to become counting agents and the candidates were free to nominate anyone above 18.