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Counting begins in TN after minor hiccup caused by a virus attack

Updated by admin on Sunday, May 02, 2021 08:48 AM IST

Chennai: Counting of votes for the 16th Assembly election in Tamil Nadu commenced at 8 a.m. on May 2, with stringent COVID-19 protocol and other restrictions including heavy security. The Election Officer for Kolathur constituency where DMK president M K Stalin seeks re-election was straightaway in the news as he was down with the corona virus and had to be replaced this morning.

Counting has also begun for the byelection to the Kanniyakumari Lok Sabha constituency caused by the death of Congress leader H Vasantha Kumar. 234 sears are up for grabs in the State.

The counting is taking place at 75 centres. The postal ballots have been taken up first, followed by counting of EVMs later. There will be a minimum of 14 tables in each counting hall, with a maximum of 43 rounds. Three constituencies — Pallavaram, Chengalpattu and Tambaram — are scheduled to have more than 40 rounds. The number of tables will exceed 14 in some of the larger constituencies. In all, there will be a total of 3,372 tables and 6,213 rounds (in all 234 constituencies).

The Election Commission has said all candidates and their agents will be allowed into the counting hall only after undergoing RT-PCR/RAT tests, and assessing whether they have reported negative or taken two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. It has also deployed reserve counting observers to replace the counting observers falling ill. The counting halls will be disinfected once in two hours.

The corona virus has already struck the election process. In the high profile Kolathur constituency where DMK president M KStalin is seeking re-election, the Election Officer was suddenly withdrawn on May 2 morning after he showed corona virus symptoms. Another EO hs now been posted.

The state witnessed a 72.81 per cent voter turnout in the single-phase elections on April 6. A total of 3,998 candidates are in the fray for the 234-member Tamil Nadu assembly.

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