Agartala/Aizawl: Declartion of results for Lok Sabha polls on Thursday in Tripura and Mizoram would be delayed by three to four hours as counting of ballots would be completed only after tallying of VVPAT slips with EVM vote count in five polling stations - instead of one - in each Assembly segment, election officials said on Tuesday.
Election Commission officials in Agartala and Aizawl said previously they had to tally Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) slips of a single polling station of an Assembly segment with the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) vote count.
The officials said following Supreme Court orders, the EC has directed to tally VVPAT slips with EVM vote count in five polling stations - instead of one - in each Assembly segment under a Lok Sabha constituency.
Tripura Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Sriram Taranikanti said that 40 counting halls would be set up in 17 locations across Tripura to count the votes of two parliamentary constituencies in the state.
"Around 520 teams would count the votes sealed in the EVMs. Central paramilitary personnel would be deployed in and around the 40 counting halls in eight districts," the CEO told IANS.
In all 13 candidates, including a woman, are trying their electoral fortune in the Tripura West parliamentary constituency while 10 candidates, including two women, are in the fray for the Tripura East Lok Sabha seat, reserved for tribals.
Re-polling was held on May 12 in 168 of the total 1,679 polling stations in the Tripura West constituency as huge electoral malpractices were found during the first phase of voting held on April 11. Polling for the Tripura East seat was held on April 23.
Mizoram CEO Ashish Kundra said in Aizawl on Tuesday that 40 counting halls would be set up in 10 locations across the mountainous state to count the ballots of the lone Lok Sabha seat in the state. Counting of ballots of the by-elections to the Aizawl West-I Assembly seat would also be done on Thursday.
Elections to the lone Lok Sabha seat and by-poll to Aizawl West-I Assembly seat were held simultaneously in the first phase of polling on April 11.
Altogether six candidates, including independent aspirant Lalthlamuani, who is the first woman candidate contesting parliamentary polls in the northeastern state, are in the fray.