The statement made by Andhra Pradesh chief electoral officer Gopala Krishna Dwivedi that there was a possibility of delay in the declaration of election results in the state on May 23 raised many eyebrows.

Dwivedi said the declaration of results for AP assembly and Lok Sabha elections could be delayed as the Supreme Court had directed that slips from at least five VVPAT machines randomly selected in each constituency be counted. Only if the VVPAT slips tallied with the actual polling, the officials will announce the results.

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“Once the counting of votes in EVMs is completed, it may take an additional 7 to 8 hours to count the VVPAT slips” he told the media.

What the CEO did not inform the media that the Supreme Court direction on VVPAT slips counting is not confined only to Andhra Pradesh but the entire country. So, there is no reason why the counting will be delayed only in AP. It has to be there everywhere.

But Dwivedi said he was not bothered about other states or the centre, but would go only by the rule book and court direction. This has led to the criticism that the CEO is deliberately giving scope for manipulations.

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Even with regard to model code of conduct implementation in other states and the centre, Dwivedi gave the same reply.

“I am least bothered whether CMs of other states are conducting review meetings or not. In Andhra Pradesh, I am going only by the rule book and as such, the CM cannot conduct any review meetings,” he said. #KhabarLive