Counting of votes for Gujarat, Himachal polls tomorrow

Keshubhai Modi

Chauhan said the gap between polling and counting has caused an additional expenditure of Rs 4 crore on security of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs). The total expenditure on polls was likely to be around Rs 10 crore, he said.

Electoral fate of 1,666 candidates in Gujarat including that of Modi, his cabinet colleagues, Congress stalwarts like party's state president Arjun Modhwadia, Leader of Opposition Shaktisinh Gohil and former Chief Minister Shankarsinh Vaghela would be decided.

Election Commission sources said in Ahmedabad that postal ballots would be taken up during the first half-hour of counting followed by 2,71,58,626 votes cast in the two phases of polling.

"Within 3-4 hours, trends will be available for all 182 constituencies and hopefully by 4 PM all results will be declared," the sources said.

In Himachal, the fate of 459 candidates will be decided tomorrow including that of Chief Minister P.K.Dhumal, ten cabinet ministers, HPCC chief V B Singh, state BJP chief Satpal Singh Satti, Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Vidya Stokes, 64 sitting MLAs and over dozens of former ministers and MLAs.

As many as 33,49,948 voters including 16,47.156 men and 17,02,790 women had exercised their franchise in the one-day polling on November 4 last. There are 106 independents and 26 women in the fray and the ruling BJP and Congress have contested all seats.

The counting of portal ballots would be taken up first, followed by counting of votes of EVMs. Postal ballots included that of 74,000 army personnel and 42,000 state government employees including police and home guard personnel, who were on poll duty.

EVMs from tribal Lahaul and Spiti district and M Pangi were brought to Kullu immediately after the polls for counting. The election in all 68 assembly constituencies, including three tribal constituencies, were held simultaneous in the state after a gap of 19 years.

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