A day ahead of the declaration of the results for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the Ministry of Home Affairs on Wednesday has alerted the State Chief Secretaries & DsGP regarding the possibility of violence which can erupt in several parts of the country in connection with the counting of votes on Thursday.
Keeping the situation in mind, the Home Ministry has asked the government of the states and Union Territories to maintain law and order, and peace and public tranquillity in the states amid the counting of votes.
The states and UTs have been asked to take adequate measures for the security of the strongrooms where the EVMs are kept securely and the venues where the counting of votes will take place.
This development comes in the wake of statements made in various quarters of the country for inciting violence and causing disruption on the day of the counting of votes of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
The Election Commission has planned to count the paper trail machines slips at the end of counts and not in the beginning as demanded by over 20 Opposition parties over apprehensions on 'manipulation' of electronic voting machines on Wednesday. Following the Election Commission rejected the demand from 22 political parties to make last-minute changes to the way votes will be counted, reports of unprecedented violence on the counting day have created the need to ensure the safety of the process.
Furthermore, the commission has decided to count postal ballots simultaneously with Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) count due to the "sheer size" of the ballots received this time from service voters.
Out of the 18 lakh registered voters, 16.49 lakh have sent their postal ballots to their respective returning officers as on May 17.
The high-pitched 2019 Lok Sabha polls witnessed incidents of violence in several parts of West Bengal across the seven phases of polling in the state. The countdown to the counting day has begun with hours left for the result of the biggest exercise of the democracy to be declared.