EC to retain 200 companies of Central Forces till May 27
Kolkata: The Election Commission will retain 200 companies of Central Forces in the state till May 27, to assist counting and also to handle post-poll violence, if any. Out of the 200 companies, 82 will be deployed for the counting centres while the rest will be deployed in areas where the commission anticipates post-poll violence.
"The remaining 510 companies of Central Forces that were present in the state during the last phase of elections on Sunday, will move out now," a senior EC official said.
According to the EC official, there will be 58 counting centres across the state, with at least one centre in each of the 42 parliamentary constituencies. There will be 144 observers deputed for the counting process.
"There will be a three-tier security system and section 144 will be imposed around all counting centres. The first layer will be maintained by the state police to keep interested people out of the purview of the counting centres. The second layer will be managed by the state armed police, while the third layer – in and around the counting halls – will be maintained by the Central Forces," the official said.
Apart from the returning officers and the observers, none will be allowed with mobile phones and cameras within the counting halls. All the halls
will be under CCTV surveillance and will be covered by webcasting so that it can be directly controlled by the Commission.
The candidates will have to give detailed lists of the counting agents beforehand. All the people allowed to enter the counting halls will be closely frisked. The vehicles carrying the EVMs will be GPS-enabled, so that their movement can be tracked.
According to sources in the CEO's office in Bengal, the entire process of counting might take 14 hours or more. Only one table will be counted at a time. Once it is finished, counting will start for the next table.
5 percent of VVPATs will be counted from each Assembly constituency. VVPATs will be counted after the completion of counting the ballot units.