Vote count begins for 5 states assembly elections

The counting of votes began for 403 assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh at 8 a.m. on Saturday amid tight security.

Chief Electoral Officer T. Venkatesh said postal ballots would be counted first and then the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) would be taken up.

A total of 4,853 candidates contested the staggered election.

The maximum number of 403 candidates were fielded by the Bahujan Samaj Party followed by Bharatiya Janata Party (384), Samajwadi Party (311) and the Congress (114). A total of 1,462 independents were in the fray.

Counting of votes for 117 assembly seats and the by-election to the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat began across Punjab on Saturday amid tight security.

The counting, which started at 8 a.m, is taking place at 54 centres in 27 locations. Early trends are likely to emerge within the first couple of hours.

The fate of 1,145 candidates, including 81 women, will be known on Saturday. A total of 77.4 per cent of the 1.98 crore electors in Punjab voted on February 4.

“Over 14,000 officials will be involved in counting,” Punjab Chief Electoral Officer V.K. Singh said.

The counting started amid uncertainty amid the possibility of a hung house.

The main contenders for powers are the Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP combine, the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

A party needs 59 seats to gain a simple majority in the assembly.

The by-election to the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat, vacated by Congress leader Amarinder Singh in November 2016, was also held with the assembly polls.

Counting of votes for the 60 assembly constituencies in Manipur began amid tight security at 8 a.m. on Saturday.

A total of 266 candidates, including 11 women, were in the fray. The BJP contested all the 60 seats and the ruling Congress 59.

While 38 constituencies went to the polls on March 4, the remaining voted on March 8. Manipur saw a voter turnout of 87.51 per cent.

Counting of votes polled in the February 4 Goa assembly election got under way at 8 a.m. on Saturday.

Officials said the postal ballots were being counted first and the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) would be taken up for counting next.

The votes logged in nearly 2,500 EVMs are being counted at the Bal Bhavan in Panaji and the Government College of Commerce and Economics in Margao, 35 km from here.

For the 40 seats in the state, the BJP fielded candidates in 36 seats, the AAP in 39, Congress in 37 and the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party in 25.