VIJAYAWADA: All is set for counting of votes polled in MPTC/ZPTC elections from 8.00 am on Sunday and the first leads are expected to be out by 12 noon.
As the sealed ballot boxes with ballot papers are secured in strongrooms, the officials designated for counting of votes, will bring them to counting halls and unseal them in the presence of agents of contested political parties and segregate them MPTC and ZPTC wise and bundle them with 25 ballot papers for each bundle and arrange five tables each for counting of votes polled. The ballot papers will be arranged contestant-wise while counting the votes so that as the counting exercise goes on, leads of contestants from both mandal parishad and zilla parishad territorial constituencies will trickle out, to unravel the political fate of the contestants.
Initially, the counting authorities will take up counting of postal ballots.
Based on direction from the state election commissioner (SEC) Nilam Sawhney, elaborate arrangements have been made to take up counting of votes. As many as 209 counting centres are set up in all 13 districts and nearly 960 counting halls are arranged. More than 600 returning officers have been appointed and about 1,050 assistant returning officers, 11,803 counting supervisors and about 32,264 counting personnel have also been appointed.
To monitor the counting of votes, a command control centre has been set up at the office of panchayat raj and rural development commissioner and 13 officials one each for a district have also been appointed to assist the zilla parishad chief executive officers to ensure counting of votes without facing any trouble.
As polling was conducted on April 8 in the state, out of a total of 660 ZPTCs to go for polls, no polling was held in eight ZPTCs for some reasons, while polling was held in the remaining 652 ZPTCs and of them, 126 were elected unanimously. Eleven contestants died and polling was held in 515 ZPTCs only with 2,058 contestants in a fray. With regard to MPTCs, out of 10,047 MPTCs, polling was withheld in 375 MPTCs and out of the remaining 9,672, as many as 2,371 MPTCs were elected unanimously. As 81 contestants died, polling was held in 7,220 MPTCs with 18,782 contestants in fray. The authorities used 1.03 lakh ballot boxes of big, medium and small sizes for conduct of polling.
Meanwhile, Nilam Sawhney visited parts of Guntur and Prakasam to inspect arrangements for counting of votes. Earlier, the SEC reviewed arrangements for counting of votes, maintenance of law and order and precautionary measures to be taken to comply with Covid-19 protocol during the counting with the collectors and district election authorities and commissioners /superintendents of police through teleconference on Saturday and expressed satisfaction over the arrangements made in the districts. They informed that arrangements were made for conduct of Covid tests and vaccination to the officials engaged for the counting process, contestants and to their counting agents.
Meanwhile, Section 144 is promulgated on the counting centre premises and liquor shops will remain shut....