Vote counting arrangements in place, security tightened across Odisha

Bhubaneswar: All arrangements are in place for counting of votes for the Lok Sabha and Assembly constituencies in Odisha tomorrow. The election results on Thursday will decide the fate of the three major political parties – Biju Janata Dal (BJD), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and the Congress in the State.

Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Surendra Kumar said that the Election Commission has made all the preparations for a smooth and error-free counting of votes at 63 centres in 22 districts across the State. Besides, around 6,700 persons have been deployed for the counting in 152 halls, he informed.

“The counting of votes will begin at 8 am. Extensive arrangements including installation of CCTVs, air condition facility, videography and deployment of security personnel have been made at the centres for smooth completion of the counting process,” Kumar said.

Moreover, about 172 platoons of Special Armed Police and 69 Companies of Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) have been deployed in the State to ensure that there are no untoward incidents during the counting. As per reports, an additional 12 companies are expected to reach the State tomorrow to manage the counting task.

Meanwhile, Odisha Director General of Police (DGP) RP Sharma has asked SPs of all districts to make full proof three-tier security arrangement at the counting centres while informing that the strong rooms having EVMs will be guarded by CAPF personnel. The SPs have also been asked to make additional arrangement of lighting and drinking water at the counting centres as the counting process may continue late into the evening.

Odisha went for a simultaneous poll for 21 Lok Sabha and 147 Assembly seats in four phases and recorded an overall polling percentage of 73.08 per cent.