LS polls: Four-tier security at all 28 Karnataka counting centres

Bengaluru, May 22 (IANS): A four-tier security had been put in place for Thursday's counting of votes in all the 28 Lok Sabha constituencies across Karnataka, an official said on Wednesday.

"The four-tier security comprises the central armed police forces in the inner core, armed police at the gate, civil and armed police at perimeter, one platoon of the Karnataka State Reserve Police as striking party and round-the-clock supervision by a deputy superintendent of police," state Chief Electoral Officer Sanjeev Kumar told IANS.

While counting centre for each Lok Sabha seat is at the district headquarters, there are three centres in Bengaluru as it has three constituencies - North, Central and South.

"The fool-proof security arrangements and heightened vigil are aided by door-frame metal detectors, hand-held metal detectors, bomb disposal and dog squads and CCTV cameras for recording the proceedings," Kumar said.

Eight counting centres have been identified as sensitive and central forces have been asked to guard them till the end of counting and declaration of results. "Mobile handsets, laptops or any electronic device that can make audio or video record are not allowed inside the counting centres," said Kumar.

Election Commission's (EC) observers and its officials are exempted from the ban as they require the devices for uploading counting data by Suvidha application.

Entry to the centres is regulated and only authorised election personnel, counting agents and candidates will be allowed inside through entry access passes issued by the district electoral officer.

"All counting centres are secured. Only one gate will be for entry after frisking. No mobiles, cigarettes, match boxes, inflammable material and water bottles will be allowed into the centres," said Kumar.

Outside the centres, the state police will regulate traffic movement, designate parking of vehicles and gathering of public with LED screens. Movement of personnel in the centres will also be controlled.

All the electronic voting machines (EVMs) and the voter verifiable paper audit trails (VVPATs) have been kept in sealed strong rooms under security, CCTV coverage and surveillance of candidates.

At each counting centre, two Deputy Commissioner of Police, six Assistant Commissioner of Police, 22 Inspectors, 23 Sub-Inspectors and 103 Assistant Sub-Inspectors will be deployed to maintain law and order.

"Ban order under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure will be enforced from May 22 midnight till the counting process is completed," Kumar remarked.

The police also banned sale of liquor and ordered closure of liquor shops for 24 hours from Wednesday evening till the election results are declared to prevent any untoward incident.

The EC has given eight different coloured T-shirts to polling officials to ensure those deployed for one Assembly segment don't go to any other segment.


Coastal districts all set

Daijiworld Media Network - Mangaluru/Udupi (ANK/EP)

Dakshina Kannada

With hours to go for the much-awaited Lok Sabha election results, speculations are rife over who would win and who would bite the dust.

Polling began on April 11, and people of Dakshina Kannada voted on April 18, the second phase of the polls. BJP fielded two-time winning candidate Nalin Kumar Kateel, while Congress fielded youth leader Mithun Rai.

The fight in DK district is directly between Congress and BJP, and people are curious to know who would be their new MP.

Since the poll, the atmosphere was peaceful in the district. However, exit polls declaring NDA will emerge victorious, has added more fuel to people's curiosity.

Nalin Kumar Kateel has completed two terms as MP. With sparse development in the region, Kateel being declared as BJP candidate had reportedly triggered controversy within the BJP.

Meanwhile, Congress candidate Mithun Rai is hoping the anti-incumbency factor against Kateel would work in his favour and break the winning streak of the BJP for the last 28 years.

Recently, Kateel was embroiled in controversy by comparing Godse to Rajiv Gandhi. Backing Pragya Singh Thakur's tweet of calling Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse as 'patriot', Kateel had tweeted, "Godse killed one, Kasab killed 72, Rajiv Gandhi killed 17,000. You judge who is more cruel in this??" The tweet created a storm, and was deleted after the BJP issued him a show-cause notice.

The exit poll by India Today-Axis My India has predicted a fairly easy win for Nalin Kumar Kateel.


Udupi is all geared up for the counting of votes for the Lok Sabha elections on May 23.

Congress leader Pramod Madhwaraj, who is contesting on JD(S) ticket against BJP's Shobha Karandlaje, on Wednesday May 22 tweeted that he is hoping for the best and preparing for the worst. "By this time the trends of udupi Chikmagloor parliamentary constituency will be known http://tomorrow.As JDS and Congress candidate I have decided to ‘Hope for the best and prepare for the worst' (sic)" he tweeted.

India Today-Axis My India exit poll predicted that Shobha Karandlaje would win from the constituency.

"All preparations for counting of votes in St Cicily School here on May 23 are completed, said deputy commissioner Hephsiba Rani Korlapati.

Speaking after inspecting the preparations on Wednesday, she said that all the counting process will begin at scheduled time as per instructions from election commission. "VVPAT slips will be counted after counting from EVMs. Meals, snacks, drinking water, toilets and other facilities have beeb arranged in the center for the officials assigned for counting of votes, staff, party agents and others."

She inspected the office of election officials, office of election observer and preparations taken to count postal ballots and VVPATs. She said that final results will be announced after counting VVPAT slips. Additional DC Vidya Kumari was present.

Udupi DSP Nisha James has asked police officials assigned during counting of votes of Udupi-Chikkamagaluru Lok Sabha constituency elections at St Cicily School on May 23 to allow entry to only those with official identity cards after suitable verification. "Mobile phones are banned in the center. Make sure that those are not brought," she said.

She explained about types of passes issued for entry at the center and stressed that nobody may bring mobiles to the center. "Only media persons may use mobiles in the center. All the police officials and staff should ensure that there are no lapses in the places assigned to them. Traffic outside the center and parking should be regulated properly as already informed," she said.

"As many as 534 staff including one CRPF squad, 3 KSRP squads, 30 home guards and 335 police staff are deployed to ensure security inside and outside the center during the counting of votes. More than 130 CC Cameras are installed to monitor security. Suitable parking and traffic arrangements are made in the vicinity," she said.

ASP Krishnakanth Kumar Chandra and other senior police officials were present.

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