Stage set for vote count for 2 Pune Assembly seat bypolls
The Election Commission has made full preparations for the counting of votes in the February 26 by-elections held in Kasbapeth and Chinchwad Assembly constituencies in Maharashtra's Pune on Thursday, officials said.
The two keenly contested bypolls were necessitated on account of the death of the sitting Bharatiya Janata Party MLAs - Mukta J. Tilak (Kasbapet) and Laxman J. Jagtap (Chinchwad), in December 2022-January 2023.
The BJP had fielded veteran leader Hemant N. Rasane in Kasbapeth and Jagtap's widow Ashwini L. Jagtap in Chinchwad, both making a determined bid to capture the seats after the party's efforts with the opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) to have unopposed elections failed.
The combined MVA candidates who fought against the BJP nominees are Congress' Ravindra Dhangekar in Kasbapeth, and the Nationalist Congress Party's Vithal 'Nana' Kate, and a Shiv Sena-UBT rebel Rahul Kalate, standing as an independent in Chinchwad.
In Kasbapeth, election officers Neeraj Semwal, Sneha Kisve-Devkate, Radhika Havel-Bartakke, Deputy Collectors Siddharth Bhandare and Sanjay Teli, and others carried out a training session of the staff that will be engaged in the counting of votes.
The counting process will start at 8 am first with the postal ballots and later the EVMs on 14 tables set up at the FCI warehouse in Koregaon Park.
There will be 20 rounds of counting involving around 50 officers and other officials here.
In Chinchwad, election officials Sachin Dhole, Satya Narayan, Ajit Patil, Shirish Poredi, Shital Wakade and others conducted a detailed training session of the staff that will be engaged in the counting of votes.
Starting the vote-count at 8 am, first the postal ballots shall be counted, followed by the EVMs on 14 tables set up at the SAG Kamgar Bhavan in Thergaon.
For Chinchwad, there will be 37 rounds of counting involving around 50 officers and other staff.
After each round of counting, the Election Returning Officers at Kasbapeth and Chinchwad shall announce the candidate-wise vote position through the loudspeakers at both the venues.
Upon completion of the entire vote-counting process, the ballots in randomly selected five VVPAT machines shall be counted and verified, as per ECI guidelines.
The early trends for both trends are likely to be available around noon, and the final results shall be declared by the evening.
At both centres, the EC has made adequate arrangements for police, media, candidates and their agents/representatives, and parking for the large number of supporters of various candidates likely to land up there.
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