A meeting on arrangements for the counting of votes with the candidates and political representatives was conducted at the Zilla Bhawan in Sikkim’s Geyzing on Saturday.
This was informed by an official press statement.
The meeting was chaired by the deputy commissioner-cum-DEO (west) Karma R Bonpo along with superintendent of police (west) Tenzing Loden Lepcha, ADC (west) Karma Lodey Lepcha, SDM (HQ) Tushar G Nikhare, Geyzing SDM Gilbert Lepcha and Dentam SDM Bimal Rai.
The district collector congratulated all the candidates and the political parties of West Sikkim for making the election process peaceful and non-violent.
He briefed them extensively on the arrangements of the counting halls where a total of four halls have been designated for the counting purposes.
Assembly segment of Parliamentary constituency will take place in the two halls of the BRC halls of Kyongsa Girls School where each room will have the counting of four constituencies each.
Similarly, for counting of the eight Assembly constituencies, the auditorium hall of Kyongsa S S school has been designated which has been partitioned into two separate halls for the counting of the eight Assembly constituencies in a similar manner along with the postal ballots in one and Sangha in another.
Bonpo stated that since various checks have been made for the counting of the results, the four halls have been made in order to make the process of counting swift and error free.
He also mentioned that each hall would have an Assistant Returning Officer (ARO) and an observer. He also mentioned that each counting room will have 10 counting tables manned by 1 counting supervisor, 1 counting assistant, 1 micro observer and 1 support staff.
The DEO also mentioned that necessary security measures have been kept in mind and the secrecy of votes in case of postal ballots will be maintained at all costs. He further advised that a team of counting agents by each party needs to be selected and sent by the candidates. He also mentioned that no one would be allowed to enter the premises without valid identity cards issued by the Returning Officer.
Bonpo informed that the strong room will be opened on May 23 at 7:00 am. Also a dry run (mock counting) will be conducted at auditorium hall, Kyongsa Girls School on May 20.
The SP (west) spoke on the security arrangements for the counting day and how the premises has been under the 3-tier security system manned by the SSB forces in the inner quadrant, IRB forces in the second quadrant and lastly by the State Police in the outer quadrant of the Kyongsa strong room. He urged the political representatives to maintain self-discipline and quorum during the counting period and asked them to avoid the use of liquor and also to cooperate with the police when and where necessary. He also asked the political representatives to be stationed at their respective places which would be given to them during the time.
The SDM (HQ) demonstrated the EVM and VVPATs to the candidates as to have a brief look of how and what they are supposed to note during the time of counting.