All eyes would be on the Election Commission of India (ECI) as poll officials on Saturday completed arrangements for counting of votes on Sunday in five poll-bound states including Tamil Nadu, Kerala, West Bengal, Puducherry and Assam. Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra on Saturday reviewed the preparations with senior officials in a virtual meeting.
After the ECI meeting, Tamil Nadu Chief Electoral Officer Satyabrata Saho interacted with District Collectors regarding the counting of 4.57 crore votes, which will commence at 8 am with postal votes and from 8.30 am, EVMs will be counted. Early trends are expected by 10.30 am and by evening, results will be out.
“Due to COVID protocols, the final declaration and issuance of elected certificates to MLAs will be completed before night, ” an official told DT Next. “Meanwhile, test certification of government staff is over and about 95% are fit. A total of 16,000 employees will be involved in the counting process. But many poll agents of political parties have not turned up for testing or vaccination and more than 150 people have turned positive and more results are awaited. Reserve staff will be deployed to meet the shortage, ” the official added.
In an unexpected move, Chennai district election officer and Corporation Commissioner G Prakash transferred the Egmore Assembly constituency returning officer Kumar on the eve of counting of votes. The new returning officer Leela is from Chennai Metro Rail Ltd. DMK candidate I Paranthaman termed the move, just hours before the counting process, controversial. When the paper contacted a senior poll official he said it was a routine administrative change demanded by the district election officer four days ago,” the official said.