Chandigarh, May 20- Haryana Chief Electoral Officer, Mr Rajeev Ranjan said that any Member of Parliament, Member Legislative Assembly, Chairman of Zila Parishad and Block Samiti and such individuals who are getting police security, they cannot become Counting Agents.

Mr Ranjan was presiding over a meeting with all the District Electoral Officers (DEOs) through video conferencing regarding preparations of counting of votes for Lok Sabha elections-2019 scheduled to take place on May 23, here today. During the meeting he issued necessary directions to all DEOs.

He said that during the counting of votes, there would be tight security arrangements outside all Counting Centres. No other person apart from employees posted on duty, counting agents and authorized media persons by Election Commission of India (ECI) would be allowed within in the premises of Counting Centre. He said that the counting of votes would be carried out in a fair and transparent manner while complying with the guidelines of ECI. All Counting Supervisors, Assistant and Micro Observers should do their job with full assurance and patiently take decisions.

He directed the DEOs that all the counting staff should be issued Identity cards. At the same time, identity cards should also be issued to Class IV employees and outsiders who would bring water and food. He said that the staff posted on the counting duty would not be allowed to carry anything with them, including mobile. Pen, pencil, mobile, key ring, knife, belt, bidi matchstick, any electronic equipment and other items would be prohibited in the counting centers. Before entering the Counting Centre, all such things would be taken out. Employees would get necessary material like pencil and paper inside the centre, he added.

Mr Ranjan said that at least two teams should be deputed for the counting of Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines. In that team, it is mandatory to have the duty of cashier of a bank. Apart from this, a separate counting team should also be kept in reserve. Individual counting of VVPAT machines should be done. He said that after counting, all EVM and VVPAT machines would be kept in Strong Room for 45 days, which would have full security.

The Chief Electoral Officer said that no vehicles should be allowed within 100 meters of counting centres. Thus, no public crowd should be allowed to gather at Counting Centres. He said that the result of counting of votes would first be uploaded on Voter Helpline mobile application. Besides this, results could also be easily seen on website- results.eci.gov.in.