By Shuriah Niazi
NEW DELHI (AA) - India issued a nationwide alert Wednesday to states about possible violence when votes are counted in the recent elections.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) asked the State Chief Secretaries, Directors General of Police and states and Union Territories (UT) to maintain law and order, peace and public tranquility.
“States/UTs have been further asked to take adequate measures for the security of strong rooms and venues of counting of votes. This is in the wake of calls given and statements made in various quarters for inciting violence and causing disruption on the day of counting of votes,” it said in a statement.
The unusual advisory comes against the backdrop of a campaign by opposition parties against the Election Commission they accuse of interpreting the law and rules in favor of the ruling alliance, according to media reports.
The Election Commission of India will start counting elections votes for the 17th Lok Sabha -- the lower house of parliament -- Thursday at 8 a.m. (0300 GMT).
More than 8,000 candidates are competing for 542 parliamentary constituencies.
The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to win a comfortable majority, according to exit polls.
With the world’s largest electorate of nearly 900 million, the elections were held in seven phases spread over 38 days.