‘Mahajot’ allies raise concerns over mismatch in number of counting tables in Assam’s LACs

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Guwahati: Ahead of the counting of votes, the political parties under ‘Mahajot’ (grand-alliance) in a letter to the Chief Election Commissioner, Election Commission of India raised concern over alleged variation of the number of counting tables from one constituency to another in poll-bound Assam.

The Mahajot allies also requested the ECI for making arrangements of counting of votes uniformly in all LACs on May 2 in the recently concluded state elections.

The letter reads, “We have come to realize that the Returning officers for different LAC more especially the Deputy Commissioner and SDO(Civil) have already made details arrangements for counting of votes in their respective district, sub-division, etc.”

“So far the manual of Election commission regarding the counting of votes is concerned, it is clearly laid down the particular guidelines for making arrangement of counting like counting corridor, number of counting tables, number of counting agents by different contesting candidates etc. But we have come to realize that in many constituencies the arrangement of counting halls and counting tables aren’t in uniformity and differ from one constituency to the other constituencies,” claimed the signatories of the political parties under ‘Mahajot’.

The ‘Mahajot’ allies in their letter raised concern on the variation of the number of counting tables from one constituency to another through a table format.

Name of LACNumber of Polling stationsArrangement of counting corridor/tableNazira1942     2×7= 14 tablesSamaguri2362     2×7= 14 tablesSilchar2822     2×7= 14 tablesSouth Karimganj2533     3×7=  21 tablesBihpuria2183     3×7=  21 tablesRupohihat2832     2×7=  14 tablesBadanpur2463     3×7=  21 tablesBorkhola2193     3×7=  21 tablesDhing3313     3×7=  21 tablesRaha3062     2×7=  14 tablesLumding3014     4×7=  28 tables

They also sought ECI’s intervention into the matter of if the tables have been allotted in proportionate with the number of polling stations or not.

The political parties further claimed that such types of discrepancies, variations in the number of tables have created serious doubts in the minds of candidates and the public. “We have already made it lucid approximately our apprehension and likelihood of occurring any untoward incident which may lead to mal-counting, disturbance in smooth counting and manipulation in counting whether counting is continued till night because of less number of counting tables where the number of polling stations is more,” the letter added.

Notably, in many of the constituencies, the returning officers have made arrangements of 21 counting tables in three halls, seven tables in each and every corridor, which the political parties under Mahajot imagine to be the most ideal arrangement for all of the constituencies.

The signatories of the Mahajot further urged the CEC to take a fair decision and issue an instruction to all of the returning officers to make arrangement of counting tables uniformly in proportionate with the number of polling stations in order that there must not be any inordinate delay in completion of the counting process because of less number of counting table in some constituencies.

The Bodoland/ Assam / India / International

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