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All set for counting

punjab Updated: May 20, 2013 23:55 IST
Ravinder Vasudeva

The counting of votes for the zila parishad and block samiti polls will be conducted on Tuesday amid close monitoring and tight security.

The counting will start at 8am.

In Patiala district, the administration has made eight strong centres, each for the eight development blocks, where the counting of votes for the block samitis and zila parishads falling under each block will be conducted simultaneously.

According to deputy commissioner GK Singh, each strong centre will be videographed properly to ensure transparency during the counting.

"Though guidelines of the state election commission do not make it compulsory for us to videograph the counting, the district administration, on our behalf, has decided to do so, so that no one has any doubts," said the DC.

The counting will be held simultaneously. ADC (development) Anandita Mitra said though for block samiti and zila parishad, individual ballot boxes were set up to collect the votes, there were chances of mixing of votes, that is why the administration decided to count the votes simultaneously.

The police have made elaborate security arrangements for the counting day. Apart from candidates, only one person per table will be allowed to enter the counting premises as the polling agents.

More than 1,500 employees of different departments have been deployed for counting of votes, despite deputing more than 4,000 police personnel in front of the counting stations.

"Since, grassroots politics is involved in these elections; the police will ensure that the winning marches are held safely. The entire strong room buildings will be cordoned off completely to ensure the counting is conducted un-interrupted," SSP Hardyal Singh Mann said.

He said that in villages where violence was witnessed on the polling day, special patrolling by the police would keep a watch on each and every activity of these villages.

Of the total 21 zila parishad seats, two have already been bagged by the SAD, with the candidates from rest of the parties withdrawing the nomination papers on the last date. Whereas of 167 block samiti zones, 10 have already been elected unanimously.

Meanwhile, the claims and counter-claims by the ruling SAD-BJP and the Congress have started pouring in ahead of the counting.

"It will be the largest-ever victory of the SAD-BJP combine in these polls. The Congress is going to be wiped out," said former minister and SAD district president Ajaib Singh Mukhmailpur.

On the other hand, Congress MLA from Patiala rural, Brahm Mohindra claimed that the election was fixed between the SAD-BJP leaders and the administration, that was why the leaders of the ruling combine, even before the polls had started making strong claims of their victory.

Counting of votes: block wise detail of places
Patiala block :Ice Rink Hall
Patran :Nihal Singh College
Bhunerheri :Women polytechnic
Sanour :Polo ground, Patiala
Rajpura :Mini-secretariat, Patiala
Ghannaur :University College, Ghannaur
Nabha :Ripudaman College
Samana :Public College, Samana