Ranchi, May 14: MP hopeful Geeta Koda will be among the first to know where she stands in the world’s biggest election on May 16, Friday, as Jharkhand is likely to get Singhbhum’s mandate first and Dhanbad last.
On a day India trains her billion-plus eyes on the results of 543 seats of the watershed 16th Lok Sabha polls, counting of votes polled in Jharkhand’s 14 constituencies will start sharp from 8am.
Clear trends will emerge from noon with final outcomes likely to arrive between 2pm and 5pm.
Counting is likely to finish the soonest at the ST-reserved seat Singhbhum with the least number of polling booths at 1,336. Going by the same logic, the final results of four seats Ranchi, Godda, Koderma and Dhanbad, where the number of polling stations are over 2,000, are likely to come late.
State chief electoral officer P.K. Jajoria explained the logistics of the huge number-crunching exercise across 14 counting centres.
“First of all, postal ballots will be counted. Counting of votes locked in EVM will start after 8.30am. Counting of Lok Sabha votes is first divided Assembly-wise and then further into booths. For example, Ranchi Lok Sabha constituency has six Assembly segments. Counting of all segments will be done simultaneously,” Jajoria said, adding an EVM had details such as booth number and Assembly segment.
The number of counting tables will also vary, depending on how large each Assembly segment is and how many polling booths it has.
“At each centre, counting will take place on 14 to 26 tables at one go. Each round will take between 20 and 40 minutes, depending on the efficiency of polling personnel,” Jajoria said.
“We had a video-conferencing session with the Election Commission of India this afternoon,” he added. “We discussed threadbare matters related to counting and announcement of results. Deputy commissioners-cum-returning officers, who are also district election officers of their respective districts, took part in the session as well.”
Ranchi deputy commissioner Vinay Kumar Choubey gave an instance of how size mattered. “For Ranchi Lok Sabha seats, we will count votes polled in six Assembly segments that are of varying sizes. So, for the largest Assembly seat, Hatia, with 435 booths, we are keeping 26 counting tables. In contrast, for Silli Assembly segment, with 247 booths, we are keeping only 16 tables,” he said.
Fourteen observers, one for each counting centres, will also be deputed.
They are M. Jagadeeshwar (Rajmahal), Nepal Singh Ravi (Dumka), Manish Kumar Shrivastav (Godda), Hadibandhu Singsardar (Chatra), Amar Pratap Singh Virk (Koderma), Shaleen Kabra (Giridih), Sumati Lal Vohra (Dhanbad), G. Prakash (Ranchi), B.T. Lunga (Jamshedpur), Sutanu Prasad Kar (Singhbhum), Aga Ahmad (Khunti), Surendra Ghonkrokta (Lohardaga), Ajeet Kumar (Palamau) and C.K. Ulke (Hazaribagh).
“We are all prepared for the big day,” Jagoria said.
“Once results of rounds start coming out, trends from booths will emerge. My office will be deluged by faxes, email and hotline messages about results, which we will share with the media,” he smiled.
He added that polling agents of political parties would get to know the break-up of votes polled in favour of specific candidates. “We can’t stop this. But, in my opinion, candidates who get fewer votes at a particular booth will work harder in the next elections,” he said.