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EC to deploy observers to oversee counting

KOLKATA: The Election Commission (EC) decided to deploy observers for supervision of the counting process on Sunday. As many as 15 Police Observers, 32 General Observers and 18 Expenditure Observers will act as Counting Observers.

The state CEO office is making arrangements for readying the counting venues across the states in strict adherence to the safety protocols. The District Election Officers ensured conduct of maximum number of rapid antigen tests for the candidates and their counting agents on Friday.

The poll panel has made it mandatory for candidates and agents entering the counting hall to furnish RT-PCR/RAT test negative report or proof of two doses of Covid vaccination. There will be 108 counting centres across the state with 705 halls. Maximum of seven tables will be kept in each of the halls to maintain physical distance. Masks, sanitisers and face shields are compulsory for all inside the counting venue. There will be a temperature check at the entry point. The Commission will not allow any public gathering outside the counting venue during counting. The poll panel has also banned victory procession on or after the counting on May 2. Not more than two persons shall be allowed to accompany the winning candidate or his/her authorised representative to receive the certificate of election from the Returning Officer.

"All counting halls have proper ventilation, windows and exhaust fans," said a senior district official of South 24-Parganas, where arrangements were made for testing 8000 persons.

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