Vote counting in Tamil Nadu to be videographed

It will also serve as a reliable record in the event of any election dispute later, State Chief Electoral Officer Praveen Kumar said. He said that 18 companies of para-military forces arrived from West Bengal on Wednesday, out of 48 companies being deployed in the state.

Postal ballots will  be counted for the first 30 minutes from 8 am on Friday, after which the counting of ballots cast would be taken up.

While elaborate arrangements for a peaceful counting process on Friday are being made for all the 234 Assembly constituencies in Tamil Nadu and 30 segments in Puducherry, the AIADMK and the CPM have written to the Election Commission (EC) seeking ‘randomisation and shuffling’ of data-entry operators at counting centres to avoid any irregularity.

Both T K Rangarajan, CPM MP, on behalf of the party’s state committee, and AIADMK general secretary J Jayalalitha sent separate fax messages to the EC to draw its attention to an alleged irregularity during the counting of votes in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls in the Alangudi Assembly segment of Sivaganga Parliamentary constituency, from where Union Home Minister P Chida­mbaram was re-elected. An election petition is pending in the Madras High Court in this regard.

The AIADMK also urged the EC to instruct the returning officers and observers at counting stations to ensure that the votes recorded by the officers at the time of counting, tallied with the entries made by the data entry operators in ‘Form 20.’ Only after this verification should the election result of any Assembly constituency be announced, Jayalalitha pleaded.

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