Lok Sabha polls 2019: Home Ministry alerts state authorities of possible violence on counting day

Polling officials seal the EVMs and VVPAT machines after close of voting in Patna in the final phase of the Lok Sabha polls. Photograph:( PTI )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India May 22, 2019, 05.36 PM (IST)

Ahead of the counting of votes, the Ministry of Home Affairs on Wednesday issued an alert to State Chief Secretaries and DsGP regarding the possibility of eruption of violence in different parts of the country on the counting day. 

The Ministry has asked state authorities to maintain law and order, peace and public tranquillity, news agency ANI reported. 

The authorities have further been asked to take adequate measures for the security of strong rooms and venues of counting of votes. 

This is in the wake of calls given and statements made in various quarters for inciting violence and causing disruption on the day of the counting of votes.

The counting of votes of the seven-phased Lok Sabha polls, that concluded on May 19, will take place tomorrow. More than 8,000 candidates were in the fray for 542 seats across the nation. 67.11 per cent of the 90.99 crore electors had cast their vote in the seven-phase elections.

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It is suggested that the counting of votes and the announcement of results may get delayed due to tallying of voter-verified paper audit trail slips with EVM count. The exercise will take place for the first time.

On Monday, the Election Commission had rubbished the reports of alleged EVM tampering stating that adding that visuals doing the rounds in sections of media "do not pertain to any EVMs used during the polls".

"Complaints of alleged movement of EVMs, purportedly to replace polled EVMs in strongrooms, doing rounds in sections of media. Would like to unambiguously clarify that reports are absolutely false. Visuals seen viral on media do not pertain to any EVMs used during the polls," the EC clarified. 

On May 19, various exit polls predicted a thumping win for the Bharatiya Janata Party in the Lok Sabha polls. 

The party, along with its allies, is predicted to sweep a lion's share of the Hindi heartland of the nation including states like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Bihar as well as the national capital. 

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The authorities have further been asked to take adequate measures for the security of strong rooms and venues of counting of votes.