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Lok Sabha Polls-2024 | Counting of votes across country today

12:34 AM Jun 04, 2024 IST | IANS
lok sabha polls 2024   counting of votes across country today
Nagpur, June 03 : Preparations underway on the eve of vote counting for the Lok Sabha polls, at Kalmna Market Yard in Nagpur on Monday. (ANI Photo)

New Delhi, June 3:  Ahead of the declaration of results of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, the Election Commission of India (ECI) Monday acknowledged that polls should not be held in such extreme heat and a lesson had been learnt.


Addressing a news conference, the poll panel discussed various arrangements for the June 4 counting process.


Additionally, the ECI said that everything was in place to prevent post-poll violence.


The poll panel said that paramilitary forces would remain deployed in several states, including West Bengal.


Although these forces are under the control of State governments, the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) expressed the hope that State administrations would prevent any violence.


Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Rajiv Kumar announced on Monday that there were no delays or discrepancies in providing Form 17C during the voting process.


He said that the entire counting process would be videographed, and all the representatives of political parties would have the freedom to sit and record facts at the counting centres.


Regarding postal ballots, the CEC said that counting would be conducted in the same manner as it had been since 2019 in various elections, however, it would be completed first as the number of postal ballots is usually low.

The CEC said that this time, more than 64 crore 20 lakh people, including 34 crore women and senior citizens aged 85 and above, had cast their vote.

Calling it a remarkable achievement, he said India had set a world record.

Along with this, the CEC emphasised that the entire counting process would be videographed, and the representatives of political parties would be allowed to sit at the Returning Officer's table.

The CEC said the counting process would involve around 70-80 lakh people, so there shouldn't be any problem.

He dismissed the claims of irregularities with the issuance of Form 17C as "false narratives" and said that no complaints were raised at the polling stations.

Highlighting the election process, he said that arrangements were made to avoid inconvenience to women.

Additionally, voters over the age of 85 were given the option of voting from home, keeping their health in mind.

The India-wide, election process was supported by various brands and institutions, including the Indian Premier League (IPL), veteran cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, athletes, Indian Railways, petrol pumps, as well as startups, Kumar said.

“There were no major incidents of violence during the elections, unlike previous incidents in states like Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, and Maharashtra,” Kumar said. “In Manipur also, the voting took place peacefully at all 94 special booths.”

The CEC also mentioned that this time, it was ensured that factors such as misinformation and money power were not able to play a part.

He said, “This time around Rs 1054 crore in cash, Rs 898 crore worth of alcohol, Rs 1459 crore worth of precious metals and Rs 2198 crore worth of freebies were seized.”

Kumar said all the helicopters were checked.

“A lot of questions were raised when the helicopters of some leaders were investigated, however, the EC officials fearlessly checked all of them, whether they belonged to central ministers, chief ministers, party presidents, or others,” he said.

The CEC said all demands of Opposition leaders regarding counting, including videography of the entire process had been met.

“Any attempt to create disturbances would be dealt with sternly,” he said.

Kumar said that they had anticipated attacks from outside the country's borders but instead faced attacks from within.

He highlighted how a “mischievous narrative” was set during the elections, including claims of communication with 150 District Magistrates and concerns about Form 17C, and various allegations regarding voter lists and voting statistics.