Counting of votes begin; initial trends by 9.30 a.m.

PTI New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on May 16, 2014

Counting of votes, the grand finale in the nine-phased Lok Sabha elections, began today across the country.

Election Commission said the counting exercise to be held at 989 counting centres is likely to be completed by 4 p.m. and the trends will start emerging by 9.30 a.m.

By noon, a final picture could emerge on who would be the major players in the 16th Lok Sabha.

Of 989 counting centres, the maximum are in Andhra Pradesh at 168, followed by 98 in West Bengal, 76 in Uttar Pradesh, 64 in Odisha, 51 in Assam and 48 in Maharashtra.

Ahead of the counting of votes, Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath had said yesterday that the large voter turnout was a result of “good” electoral rolls prepared by the poll authorities across the country.

He had said that “a lot of steps have been taken to ensure that those eligible to vote find their names in the electoral lists’’.

The exercise to add fresh voters was carried out even days before the first phase of polling was held on April 7.

About 8,251 candidates, including top guns Narendra Modi, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Arvind Kejriwal, were in the fray, in the largest-ever electoral exercise held in Indian history.

While national parties — Congress, BJP, BSP, CPI, CPI (M) and NCP — fielded 1,591 candidates, the 47 state parties fielded 529 candidates. While the over 1,600 registered but unrecognised political parties fielded 2,897 candidates, 3,234 Independents were also in the fray.

The exit polls have projected that BJP will emerge as the single largest party.

‘Ballot unit’ switched on

The ‘ballot unit’ is switched on in the presence of senior poll officials and counting agents of candidates and the result command keyed in to get results per machine.

These were the first Lok Sabha elections when the option of ‘none of the above’ or NOTA was introduced on the EVMs following Supreme Court directions. Before NOTA button was installed on EVMs, voters had to fill up form 49 ‘O’ at the polling station which compromised their identity.

Seeking to ensure transparency, the EC has deployed micro observers at all counting tables. The returning officers have been directed to provide a printout of each counting round and every table to the counting agents of candidates.

Lok Sabha elections 2014 witnessed the highest-ever turnout with 66.38 per cent of an estimated 814 million voters exercising their franchise — the highest ever in the history of general elections.

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Published on May 16, 2014
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