Counting of votes for LS and 2 state assemblies underway

New Delhi, June 4 (UNI) India’s election officials began the vote count for the Lok Sabha and the two state assemblies of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh at 8 am on Tuesday amid intense security, heralding the climax of the world’s largest democratic exercise in the globe’s most populous nation.

A world record 64.2 crore electors, including 31.2 crore women, cast their votes to constitute the 18th Lok Sabha and form a new Central government, during a staggered seven-phase polling stretching over 44 days and involving crores of personnel.

The polling began on April 19 and concluded on June 1 to elect a 543-member Lok Sabha, besides Assemblies in Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim.

The strengths of the Assemblies are – Odisha 147, Andhra Pradesh 175, Arunachal Pradesh 60 and Sikkim 32.The counting for Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim Assemblies was done onSunday.

As per the counting rules, ballot papers are being counted first. The counting of votes in Electronic Voting Machines would begin after half an hour.

Counting of votes for bye-elections to 25 assembly constituencies would also take place on Tuesday.

Most major exit polls published on June 1 have projected a clean sweep for the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in the general election, with the grouping predicted to bag more than 350 seats in the 543-member Lok Sabha.

In most of these post-poll surveys, Congress-led INDI alliance seemed to lag far behind. and securing 125-200 seats.

While NDA leaders have exuded confidence that the exit poll projections would be reflected when the actual results are declared.

INDI alliance members have rejected the predictions and claimed victory in a minimum of 295 seats.

The top poll body Election Commission of India (ECI) is providing the latest counting trends on its website and also on the Voter HelplineApp.

Addressing a press conference on Monday, Chief Election Commissioner(CEC) Rajiv Kumar stated that the entire counting process is “absolutely robust”.

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