D-Day here, vote counting under high security

All preparations have been completed for the vote counting at the Mundera Mandi premises in Prayagraj where the fate of 169 candidates vying for the 12 District Assembly seats would be decided on Thursday. The District Elections Officer has delegated 1,192 government employees for the counting exercise which would start from 8am at 14 tables for each of the 12 seats and will continue until all the results are announced.

A similar exercise would be undertaken in Kaushambi for the district’s three seats and in Pratapgarh for its seven seats.

In Prayagraj, for each assembly ballot counting 14 tables were put together, but this time seven tables on each side would be placed face to face with a curtain in the middle, district election non-commissioned officer Harsh Dev Pandey informed.

He said that assembly constituency returning officers (ROs) would be present on one side of the tables, while assistant returning officers (AROs) would be present on the other during the counting process in the premises of Mundera Mandi.

The tally would decide the fate of two UP ministers Sidharth Nath Singh and Nand Gopal Gupta “Nandi” of the BJP, in addition to leaders like Ujjawal Raman Singh of the SP, incumbent BJP MP Harshvardhan Bajpai and former MP of the Congress Anugrah Narayan Singh and Richa Singh of SP among others.

For a systematic and transparent count of the votes cast, EVMs will be placed at each booth table. After one round, the second counting round will begin. Since the maximum number of 463 booths is at the Phulpur headquarters, there will be 34 rounds of vote counting for this one. Similarly, in Pratappur as well, there will be 33 counting rounds as there are a total of 459 voting booths. The lowest 27 rounds of counting would take place for Meja, and even Karachhana would have the vote count completed in just 28 rounds, and so on, the officials shared.

If the count goes smoothly, the poll results from Meja headquarters should come in first, followed by Karachhana. After that, results from Bara Koraon and Allahabad South are expected. The result of Phulpur, which has a maximum number of stands, should come last.

Similarly, preparations have been completed for the vote count to be held at Mahuli Mandi’s premises in Pratapgarh which will decide the fate of 90 candidates in the fray, including leaders like Congress Legislative Party leader Aradhana Mishra “Mona”, Apna Dal (Kameravadi) leader Krishna Patel, six times MLA Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiya of Jansatta Dal (Loktantrik) and former UP Minister Rajendra Pratap Singh alias “Moti” of BJP on Thursday. According to the officials, the counting of votes will start at 8 a.m., and the first trend will come around 8:30 a.m., informed Mukesh Chandra, ADM.

A total of 2,813 EVMs were used to vote for seven assembly seats in the district. After the vote, all EVMs were held in assembly in Mahuli Mandi’s vault amid tight security. EVMs will be brought to the counting tables after breaking the vault seal in the presence of officers under the guard of armed CRPF personnel at 7:30 a.m., he added.

Counting rounds have been set by District Electoral Officer Nitin Bansal for vote counting. For this, a minimum of 26 rounds of counting will be done in the siege of Rampur Khas, and his result should come first. Similarly, the counting of votes for Babaganj will be done in more than 26 rounds, for Kunda in more than 28 rounds, Vishwanathganj in more than 33 rounds, Pratapgarh Sadar in more than 28 rounds, for Patti in 30 rounds and Raniganj in 27 rounds .

Similarly, in Kaushambi, the counting of votes to decide the fate of 41 candidates, including CM Keshav MP Prasad Maurya, Apna Dal (K) leader Pallavi Patel, SP leaders Indrajeet Saroj and Pooja Pal, will take place in New Mandi in Osa. The counting of votes for the seats of Chail, Sirathu and Manjhanpur will take place at different places inside the same premises. All arrangements have been made for the process with 14 tables each placed for the respective assembly seats and a wire mesh installed in front of the counter. Other than that, barricades have been put up for officers to stand on. There will also be a reserve team for the counting of votes which will take place under CCTV cameras.

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