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D-Day for Goan politics

Panaji: Counting of the votes polled for the Lok Sabha elections and the bypolls to four assembly segments – Mandrem, Panaji, Mapusa and Shiroda – will take place on Thursday.

The votes will be counted at the Government Polytechnic College at Altinho, Panaji, and at the Government Multipurpose College at Borda, Margao, for North Goa and South Goa respectively.

The vote counting will start at 8 am starting with postal ballots, which will be followed by the vote count recorded in electronic voting machines.

The counting of votes polled for the Panaji byelection will be taken up first at the Altinho counting centre. Thereafter the votes polled in the Mandrem and Mapusa assembly segments will be counted.

Simultaneously the votes polled for the South Goa parliamentary seat and for the Shiroda bypoll will be counted at the Borda counting centre.

The bypoll results are expected to be out by 4 pm. However, the counting of the votes polled in both the parliamentary constituencies will be delayed, and the poll outcome is expected to be out by late night.

The reason for the expected delay is that poll panel has to mandatorily fulfil the requirement of verification of voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) paper slips with the votes recorded in the EVMs. Adequate arrangements have been made by both the district returning officers for the vote count. 

The Goa police said that they have made specific security arrangements for the vote count at both the counting centres.

A senior police officer said that security has been beefed up and all arrangements have been put in place to regulate the people, who will gather outside the counting centres.

The police will also keep a watch on the people, and also on victory rallies to thwart any law and order situation.

The police have already beefed up security at the strongrooms (where EVMs are stored) and counting centres in Panaji and Margao.

A senior police official said that in addition to the existing three-tier security cover the police have added one more layer of security with the deployment of central paramilitary personnel.

The EVMs for the parliamentary elections as well as the byelections have been kept in the strongrooms set up at the Government Polytechnic College, Altinho-Panaji and the Government Multipurpose College, Borda-Margao.

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