Counting of votes in West Bengal begins

Kolkata: Counting of votes polled in elections to 294 West Bengal Assembly constituencies began this morning.

In all, 14,500 personnel will be involved in the counting process at 87 counting centres with 312 halls.

According to the latest EC instruction, counting for each constituency should be done in a single hall with the EC-deputed observer, returning officer and representatives of the candidates present so that there is absolute transparency.

The EC has, however, exempted 18 assembly constituencies where two halls have been allotted since a single hall could not be found.

None except the observer and the retiring officer will be allowed to enter the counting halls with a mobile phone.

There will be a three-tier security at counting centres with one to be manned by central forces.

About 75 companies of central forces have been deployed at the centres.