Kolkata, 18 May: A few hours from now, counting of votes will start for 294 Assembly segments in West Bengal.
The counting will start from 08 in the morning tomorrow (Thursday) in 90 counting centres spread over the state. The trends will start pouring in from 9 am and the results will start coming out from around 11 am.
As many as 7,000-odd Central force jawans and 20,000 state police personnel have been deployed to ensure strict security in and around the counting centres. Section 144 of CrPC has been imposed within 100 metres radius of the counting venues prohibiting assembly of four persons and above.
The Alipore Met Office in Kolkata has forecast moderate to heavy rain all over the state tomorrow. While this will hamper the victory celebrations a little, but is likely to avert post-result political violence, even if for the time being.
Election Commission will provide online information of trends and results of the vote counting on a dedicated website http://eciresults.nic.in.
Besides this, all Kolkata-based Bengali news channels such as ABP Ananda, 24 Ghanta, Newstime, Kolkata TV, ETV Bangla News, Onkar TV have announced that they will give live updates and analysis of the counting from 08 am to until the end of counting.
These TV channels are deputing reporters at most of the counting centres and also at the office of the Bengal chief electoral officer in Kolkata to offer live information on the counting.
In Kolkata and its immediate neighbourhood, there are 10 counting centres where votes will be counted for 24 Assembly segments. Of them, 11 segments are in Kolkata; rest 13 fall in the administrative jurisdiction of North and South 24-Parganas district but are in close proximity of Kolkata.
The 10 counting centres are ~ Netaji Indoor Stadium near Esplanade, Sakhawat Memorial Government Girls’ High School off Rabindra Sadan, Hastings House at Alipore, Jnan Chandra Ghosh Polytechnic College at Ekbalpur, St Thomas’ Boys School at Khidderpore, Bratachari Vidyasram at Thakurpukur, David Hare Training College and Ballygunge Government High School at Ballygunge, Gitanjali Stadium in Kasba, and Bidhannagar College at Salt Lake.
The counting of votes for Bhowanipore Assembly segment from where outgoing Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is seeking a re-election will be at Sakhawat Memorial Government Girls’ High School off Rabindra Sadan.
In Siliguri, a counting centre has been set up at Siliguri College in the heart of the town and there, votes will be counted for Siliguri, Matigara-Naxalbari, and Phansidewa Assembly segments. At Siliguri Assembly segment is in fray CPI-M heavyweight and Siliguri Mayor Asok Bhattacharya.
Another heavyweight from Siliguri, Trinamool’s outgoing minister Gautab Deb is in fray from neighbouring Dabgram-Fulbari Assembly segment. The counting for this segment will be at Jalpaiguri Polytechnic Institute.
For the three Assembly segments in Darjeeling Hills, three separate counting centres have been set up. Votes for Kalimpong segment will be counted at Scottish Universities Mission Institution in Kalimpong, for Kurseong the counting will be at St Alphonsus School in Kurseong, and in case of Darjeeling Assembly segment the counting will be at St Roberts H S School in Darjeeling town.