After two rounds of discussions with the top officials on Tuesday and Wednesday, the Election Commission of India has informed that the VVPAT counting sequence to remain as per the guideline approved by the Supreme Court of India.
Earlier on Tuesday, a delegation of 22 different political parties met the officials of ECI and requested the poll panel to count VVPATs slips before the commencement of counting of votes polled in EVMs.
As per top ECI official, “It has neither been found possible nor feasible to accede to this demand in the overall context.” The official further added, “There were some other procedural issues like allowing counting agents of candidates along with all Returning Officers and Assistant Returning Officers on which necessary instructions have already been reiterated and wherever required made more candidate-friendly.”
Notably, the Supreme Court in a judgement has directed that the random selection of VVPATs shall be subjected to the process of slip verification as per the guidelines 16.6 of EVM Manual in force.
The ECI has further assured that the entire counting especially guarding the strong rooms and counting centres is already being done in an absolutely fair and transparent manner.