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Digicam to record vote count

The counting of votes for 243-member Bihar Assembly begins tomorrow.Can Lalu's RJD make a comeback in Bihar?

india Updated: Nov 21, 2005 15:22 IST

The Election Commission has ordered photo-documentation of every stage of vote counting, which begins at 8 am on Tuesday, in its bid to ensure complete fairness of the election process in the politically volatile state of Bihar.

For the first time, digital cameras will be installed at every counting table for photo-documentation of every stage of the counting process from the un-sealing of electronic voting machines till the announcement of the results, sources in the office of Bihar chief electoral officer and home department said.

Central government employees and those of its undertaking like banks and insurance companies will be engaged in counting and only if they fell short of the required number, state government employees will be drafted.

Two companies of central paramilitary forces (CPMF) will be deployed at each of the 41 counting centres spread across 38 districts for providing internal security, the sources said.

CPMF personnel and officers and jawans of the state police headed by magistrates would patrol the counting centres throughout the exercise.

All agents of candidates and counting personnel will be given photo identity cards, which they will have to properly display. No mobile phones, matches or bags will be allowed inside the counting centres, the sources added.

Chief Electoral Officer NK Sinha said specially designed software was being used for speedy dissemination of information on the progress of counting and all counting centres have been connected through the Internet for the purpose.

Initial trends are likely to be available within an hour or so after counting begins and most results are expected by 5 pm.

Election Commission secretary RK Srivastava is arriving this evening to monitor the counting process, the election office sources said.

The fate of 2135 candidates, including 136 women will be decided during Tuesday's exercise to determine the contours of the 243-member assembly. The notification for the new Assembly is required to be issued by November 23 - six months after the dissolution of the 13th Assembly, which was dissolved without being convened even for a day.

The heavyweights whose electoral fortunes are at stake in the assembly polls, Bihar's second this year, former Chief Minister Rabri Devi, former assembly speaker and Bihar PCC President Sadanand Singh, state NDA convenor and BJP leader Nandkishore Yadav, Bihar JD(U) president Bijendra Prasad Yadav, his Samajwadi Party counterpart Deonath Yadav and state RJD president Abdul Bari Siddiqui, besides a host of ministers in the erstwhile Rabri Devi Government.

Job done, security forces begin leaving Bihar

After spending more than a month in Bihar to ensure that the elections are held peacefully - and succeeding in the job - thousands of paramilitary troopers have started leaving the state on special trains.

State home department officials said some had already left and others would leave in the next two days. Besides the special trains, additional coaches have also been attached to some south- bound trains.

Some of the nearly 100,000 security forces would leave only after counting of votes on Wednesday.

Personnel from the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Border Security Force (BSF) and others as well as armed police from various states had camped in Bihar for the four-phased elections that ended Saturday.

First Published: Nov 21, 2005 12:41 IST