The district magistrate and district election officer, NP Singh, said that police and paramilitary personnel will not be present inside the hall where the counting of votes is scheduled to take place.
“Police or paramilitary personnel will not be present inside the counting hall. In case of any law and order situation, the returning officer (RO) and counting observer will call the police in. Senior police officers will be present in the corridor outside the hall so that the RO and observer can contact them easily,” Singh said.
“Candidates’ agents had pointed out that whenever they wanted to consult with the assistant observer or observer, the police inside the hall pull them down and ask them to be quiet. So, it has been decided that policemen and even paramilitary forces will not be present inside the hall,” Singh said.
“However, the paramilitary forces will regulate the movement on the premises outside the hall and ensure that only those with clearances are allowed. Police will be deployed outside gate number 5. The area from gate 5 to the counting hall will be manned by the paramilitary forces. Mobile phones will not be allowed inside the counting hall,” Singh said.
“The counting process will start at 8am on Saturday at the flower market, where the electronic voting machines (EVMs) have been kept in strong rooms. First, the postal ballots will be counted. Around 200 postal ballots from each assembly constituency are expected. EVM vote counting will start from 8.30am,” Singh said.
“As many as 14 tables have been set up for each assembly constituency — Noida, Dadri and Jewar — in the respective counting halls. Noida will have 35 rounds of counting, Dadri, 30, and Jewar, 25,” Singh said.
“After every round, the data will be fed to the Election Commission’s website. Copies will also be given to candidates’ agents. Those who have a query can get it clarified immediately as, after every round, the data will be in the public domain. This will ensure transparency and prevent complaints of rigging,” Singh said.
“No victory procession will be allowed. All candidates and agents have been briefed. Due to chances of clashes and threat to candidates, all of them will be provided security till their home after the counting is completed. The administration will ensure that they return home safely,” Singh said.