'Mahajot' seeks uniform counting of votes across all LACs on May 2
The political parties under ‘Mahajot’ (Grand Alliance) have jointly requested the CEC (Chief Election Commissioner)
GUWAHATI: The political parties under 'Mahajot' (Grand Alliance) have jointly requested the CEC (Chief Election Commissioner), ECI (Election Commission of India), for arranging the counting of votes uniformly in all LACs (Legislative Assembly Constituencies). The vote-counting process is slated for May 2.
In a letter to the CEC, representatives of the different parties of the 'Mahajot' — including APCC (Assam Pradesh Congress Committee) president Ripun Bora — have sought the attention of the CEC for "immediate necessary action".
The letter stated, "You may also please refer in this connection the memorandum of Assam Pradesh Congress Committee dated 24th April, 2021, wherein it was raised the issue for completion of the counting process in all the 126 LAC (Legislative Assembly Constituencies) before sunset.
"We have come to know that the ROs (Returning Officers) for different LACs — more particularly the Deputy Commissioners and the SDOs (Civil) have already made detailed arrangements for counting of votes in their respective districts, and sub-divisions etc.
"So far as the manual of ECI (Election Commission of India) regarding the counting of votes is concerned, it has laid down the specific guidelines for arranging the vote-counting process like the counting hall, number of counting tables, number of counting agents by different contesting candidates etc. But, we have come to know that in many constituencies the arrangement of counting halls and counting tables are not in uniformity and the arrangement varies from one constituency to the other constituencies. For example, we have cited below some information in respect of arrangement of counting tables in some constituencies which are not in proportionate with the number of polling stations."
In this regard, the 'Mahajot' letter mentioned 11 LACs, namely Nazira, Samaguri, Silchar, South Karimganj, Bihpuria, Rupohihat, Badarpur, Borkhola, Dhing, Raha, and Lumding.
"As per the information we have received, the figures of polling stations allotment of counting table shows the variation of the number of counting tables from one constituency to another; and, also it is not clear whether the tables have been allotted in proportionate with the number of polling stations.
"Such type 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 clear about our apprehension and likelihood of occurring any untoward incident which may lead to mal-counting, disturbance in smooth counting and manipulation in counting if counting is continued till night due to less number of counting tables where the number of polling stations is more.
"It is learnt that in most of the constituencies the Returning Officers have made arrangements of 21 counting tables in three halls, seven tables in each hall. We think this would be the most ideal arrangement for all the constituencies.
"Under the above facts and circumstances, we — the political parties under 'Mahajot' urge you to take a reasonable decision in this regard; and, we request you to issue an instruction to all the Returning Officers to arrange counting tables uniformly in proportionate with the number of polling stations so that there should not be any inordinate delay in completion of the counting process due to less number of counting table in some constituencies. Finally, we request you to take appropriate measures for smooth and fair counting of votes and to ensure the completion of the counting process in all constituencies before sunset. We assure our fullest cooperation to the Returning Officers and the administration in this regard."
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