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Poll results out before counting?

The confusion ended later in the afternoon when the faux pas was probably realised.

india Updated: May 09, 2006 20:28 IST
Indo-Asian News Service
Indo-Asian News Service

For a few hours until afternoon, it was total chaos in Assam on Monday with results and trends of the assembly elections held last month being seen on the official website of the state's chief electoral officer.

Politicians, journalists, and photographers were at their wits end seeing the web page -- trends, results, names of winning candidates and graphic charts giving details of party positions, margin of victories, and swings.

"How is that possible," asked Apurba Bhattacharyya, a senior leader of the main opposition Asom Gana Parishad (AGP).

Counting of votes is to begin on Thursday for the two stage elections to the 126-member legislature in Assam that concluded last month.

The confusion ended later in the afternoon when the faux pas was probably realised -- the link to the web page was blocked around 2 pm.

An election official clarified it was a 'test run' carried out to fine tune the flow of information for the general public through the official website when counting begins on May 11.

"Somewhere in the bottom of the webpage it was written that it was a test data," said the official, who wished not to be identified.

But the 'test' results shocked several politicians.

"If it was a test run then the election office should have taken care that the site or that link was blocked for public viewing," said a ruling Congress party candidate, who was mentioned in the website as having lost the elections.

"For sometime I was literally breathless when someone told me I had lost the polls," the Congress candidate said requesting anonymity.

First Published: May 08, 2006 16:53 IST