Counting of votes for the 28 Lok Sabha seats in the State will begin at 8 a.m. on Friday amid elaborate security arrangements with the police banning victory processions and public meetings from 10 a.m. to midnight.

However, religious and funeral processions have been exempted.

Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) M.N. Reddi said that the decision to ban victory processions and public meetings was taken following a caution from the Union government that such celebrations and gathering could lead to friction between supporters of different candidates and parties, which may, in turn, disturb peace and order.

Chief Electoral Officer A.K. Jha told The Hindu that counting of votes will begin at 8 a.m. with postal ballots being taken up first followed by Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) at 8.30 a.m. As many as 54,300 EVMs will be taken up for counting the votes polled in the 28 constituencies on April 17.

“Roughly, there will be 17 or 18 rounds of counting, and they are expected to end by 2 p.m.,” he said. About 13,000 polling officials, including micro-observers, will be engaged in the counting process.

Sale of liquor has been banned from Thursday midnight to Friday midnight.

In Tumkur

Tumkur Staff Correspondent reports:

Tumkur district administration has made necessary arrangements for counting of votes on the premises of University Science College in Tumkur.

Additional Deputy Commissioner R.S. Peddappaiah told The Hindu that “we have issued appointment orders to the counting staff.”

As many as 350 counting staff, including counting supervisors, counting assistants and micro-observers, will be deployed. Counting of votes from eight Assembly segments of the Lok Sabha constituency will be taken up in eight rooms in the college.

All set in Kolar

Kolar Staff Correspondent reports

Kolar district administration is all set for counting of votes at the Government First Grade College in Kolar. EVMs are in the college under tight security.

Training was given to the counting staff, Deputy Commissioner and Returning Officer D.K. Ravi told reporters.

Though there are 22 candidates in the fray, the constituency witnessed a triangular fight among the Congress, the Janata Dal(S) and the BJP.