Counting of votes kick-off in UP amid high security

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The counting of votes cast in the seven-phase Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls began at 8 a.m. on Thursday amid high security.

The state’s Chief Electoral Officer Ajay Kumar Shukla said that 84 counting centres had been set up across Uttar Pradesh.

“There will be uninterrupted videography right from opening of strong rooms and taking EVMs to counting tables to the counting of votes,” Shukla said, adding said that postal ballots will be counted first and then EVM ballots from 8.30 a.m.

“Agra will have five centres. Amethi, Ambedkar Nagar, Deoria, Meerut and Azamgarh will have two centres each, and the rest of will have one each,” he said.

Victory processions and rallies have been prohibited.

Shukla also said that 403 observers, one for each constituency, have been deployed and a three-tier security has been put in place at the counting centres and within a three-km radius from them.

He said no unauthorised person would be allowed inside the counting centres and people, other than ones belonging to the exempted class, would not be allowed to carry cell phone, laptop, calculator or any other electronic device.

Smoking would remain completely banned on the premises of the counting centres.

The Assembly polls for 403 seats spread over 75 districts were held in seven phases between February 10 and March 7.

More than 3.75 lakh voters exercised their franchise using ballot papers.

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