The Election Commission of India Wednesday deputed special officers to supervise counting of votes in Meerut and Varanasi amid complaints from opposition parties about alleged irregularities in Uttar Pradesh assembly polls.
The Chief Electoral Officer of Delhi has been sent as a special officer to oversee the counting process in Meerut and Bihar's CEO in Varanasi.
The counting of votes for the recently-concluded assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Goa, Manipur, Punjab and Uttarakhand will begin at 8 am on Thursday.
Altogether, 671 counting observers, 130 police observers and 10 special observers will be on ground to ensure the counting process is smooth, the Commission said.
"The Commission has also deputed two special officers -- CEO Delhi to Meerut and CEO Bihar to Varanasi -- to supervise the counting arrangements," it added.
In the past also, electoral officers from different states have been deployed as special observers, mainly to address concerns or complaints about any bias, officials said.
The Samajwadi Party has alleged that EVMs were transported without the knowledge of political parties in Varanasi on Tuesday. Earlier, there were allegations of violation of protocols during polling in Meerut.
The poll panel officials have already rejected allegations that EVMs used for voting in just-concluded polls were moved out.
The voting took place in seven phases in Uttar Pradesh, beginning February 10 and ending on March 7.
The EC said elaborate and full proof arrangements have been made at all the counting centres.
"All strong rooms, where polled EVMs are kept, are under three-layered security with inner cordon manned by Central Armed Forces. Concerned candidates have been watching the strong room arrangements through CCTV coverage of 24x7," it added.
In poll-going states, district administration has imposed prohibitory orders around the counting halls to ensure that peace and tranquility is not disturbed, it said.
Political parties and their candidates are also involved at each stage related to EVM deployment during elections, the EC said.