GP polls: Dist gears up for D-day

GP polls: Dist gears up for D-day

Supporters, agents cannot gather in large numbers at counting centres

GP polls: Dist gears up for D-day

last minute preparations: Scene at a training programme organised for the counting officials at the Zilla Panchayat auditorium. The counting for the Gram Panchayat elections will be held on Monday. dh Photo

There is no scope for supporters, agents, party workers to gather in large numbers at the counting centres. Thus, a large gathering or crowd cannot be present during counting of votes at the counting centres.

The district administration has taken the following measures in view of the counting centres not being very spacious and also, in view of more number of candidates (7006) contesting to the Gram Panchayat elections in this district.

Candidates’ agents, party workers, supporters of the candidate can no longer be present with the candidates. These measures will avoid unnecessary crowd and din around the counting centres.

Instructions given

Election officers of the respective Panchayats have already been instructed to give these instructions to the candidates in this regard.

Some of the candidates even wrote to the Election Commission seeking a clarification on the fact that whether the candidate or his appointed agent be present during the counting of votes at the counting centres in case of single-member ward.

Replying to these queries, Under Secretary to the Election Commission C R Revanna has explained as follows:

Under the Karnataka Panchayat Raj Act 1993’s Rule (63), the candidate and the agents are allowed inside the counting centres and they can witness the counting of votes. According to Rule (63), each candidate can appoint an agent in each counting centre.
In case of more number of candidates contesting in a ward, it is difficult to allow all the candidates and their agents to be present at the counting centres.

Special measures

Hence, under such circumstances, measures can be taken to ensure that there was no crowd at the counting centres, the under secretary has explained. The under secretary further explained that either the candidate or the agent should be present at the counting centres.

The district election officer can take special measures with the help of police force to avoid unnecessary crowd around the counting centres, in accordance to the dimension of the building.

This rule is good for single-member ward. In wards, where there are one to three candidates contesting, single table is allotted. If there are more than four candidates contesting from a ward, then two tables will allotted.

In wards, where there are more than 20 candidates contesting for the elections, the above mentioned rules are inevitable to be followed, explained Additional Deputy Commissioner S N Gangadharaiah to Deccan Herald here on Saturday.

Easy accomplishment

If each table is surrounded by the candidates, their agents, counting assistants and their supporters, the counting of votes cannot be undertaken smoothly.

Hindrances and disturbances will affect the counting process. Atleast if the crowd can be controlled at the single-member ward counting, the work will be easily accomplished, the deputy commissioner opined.

All the election officers in the district have been informed well in advance about these arrangements, who in turn have informed all the candidates.

The counting centres are extremely small. Each table will have supervisor, two counting assistants, a supervising officer and an election officer.