TSEC defers counting of ZPTC, MPTC votes

Decision follows representations made by Opposition; fresh date of counting to be announced soon

May 25, 2019 12:27 am | Updated 12:27 am IST - HYDERABAD

The counting of votes in the elections to the zilla parishad (ZPTCs) and mandal parishad territorial constituencies (MPTCs) slated for May 27 has been postponed.

The Telangana State Election Commission has taken a decision to this effect following representations made by representatives of the Opposition parties.

In the representations submitted to the TSEC, the Opposition parties expressed concern that the long gap between counting of votes on May 27 and the indirect elections for the chairpersons of ZPTCs and presidents of Mandal Praja Parishads on July 5 was likely to result in huge horse trading.

They urged the commission to either advance the date of indirect election or defer the counting process to avoid scope for horse trading. TSEC secretary M. Ashok Kumar, in the order issued on Friday, said there was considerable truth in the representations made by the political parties.

However, its acceptance would be against public interest as the polling material including ballot boxes had been stored in strong rooms located mostly in the educational institutions whose academics would suffer.

Mr. Ashok Kumar said the Panchayat Raj department principal secretary had proposed an alternative date, July 3, for counting of votes. The TSEC too considered the need to reduce the time gap between the counting of direct elections and the date of indirect elections. “However, such an arrangement would require an amendment to the Telangana Panchayat Raj Act, 2018.

A suitable proposal is sent to the government in this regard,” he said. The TSEC secretary said the fresh date of counting would be notified shortly and directed the Education department to take necessary action so as not to affect the storage and security arrangements at the counting centres.

The Director General of Police had also been directed to continue the security cover for the strong rooms till the counting was completed.

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