Chennai: The DMK has submitted a representation to the Chief Electoral Officer, Tamil Nadu, requesting to allow all the counting agents to carry pen and paper during the counting of ballots inside the counting centres on May 23.
The representation was jointly submitted by DMK's organisation secretary R.S.Bharathi, MP, legal wing secretary R.Girirajan and headquarters advocates R.Neelakandan, and P.Muthukumar.
In the past elections, the counting agents of the respective candidates used to carry pen, paper (both blank sheets and printed forms for noting down the polled votes) and Form 17C issued by the presiding officers at the end of polling indicating the accounts of votes polled in respective polling booths. Carrying these stationery materials and Form 17C is permissible by the commission.
However, in the current election, the returning officers of various constituencies have directed the counting agents not to bring pen, paper or any other materials inside the counting centres. Such prohibition is totally unwarranted. As per Clause 5.7 only mobile phones are prohibited which the counting agents would abide.
Pen, paper and duplicate copy of Form 17C is also necessary to compare the votes polled and counted for every booth. Hence, there shall not be any restriction for the counting agents to bring pen, papers and Form 17-C inside the counting centres, petitioner said EC.
The opposition party has requested the CEO to issue appropriate instructions to returning officers....