Prime News, National, New Delhi, May 23:- Counting of votes for the 17th Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh began this morning amidst tight security arrangements.
Latest trends available for Lok Sabha elections show NDA is leading in 312 constituencies, UPA in 105 and others 99.
Prominent candidates who are leading include Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Amit Shah, Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari, Smriti Irani, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Congress chief Rahul Gandhi..
Out of the total 543 Parliamentary seats, elections were held in 542 constituencies. Over eight thousand candidates are in the fray. The elections to the Vellore Constituency in Tamil Nadu was cancelled on the grounds of excessive use of money power.
The results are expected by late evening due to tallying of Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail slips, VVPAT with the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs). This is the first time that in general elections results of voting machines will be matched with slips generated by paper trail machines. The exercise is taking place in five polling stations selected randomly per Assembly segment.
In Uttar Pradesh, counting of votes is taking place at 77 centres. All the strong room locks were opened in front of representatives of political parties or candidates and the observers of the Election Commission at every counting centre.
Special cabins have been formed for matching of VVPAT slips. The three-tier security system at counting centre is having Central Armed Police Forces securing the inner circle and PAC and State police in other layers. The fate of many high profile leaders including Senior BJP leader and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress President Rahul Gandhi, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and many present and former Union ministers is sealed in the EVMs.
In Madhya Pradesh, the political fate of 438 candidates including 38 women and one-third gender will be decided today. Congress and BJP are in a direct fight in almost all the 29 seats in the state. Prominent among them are BJP state president Rakesh Singh from Jabalpur, Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar from Morena, former Union minister and Congress nominee Kantilal Bhuria from Ratlam, senior Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia from Guna and Chief Minister Kamal Nath’s son Nakul Nath from Chhindwada.
The Bhopal Lok Sabha seat is being watched keenly because of the contest between Congress veteran Digvijay Singh and Malegaon blast case accused Pragya Singh Thakur.
In Odisha, simultaneous counting of votes for the elections to 21 Lok Sabha and 146 Assembly seats are taking place at 63 centres in 22 districts. A three-tier security is in place at the counting centres in Andhra Pradesh to ensure smooth passes of counting for 175 Assembly and 25 Lok Sabha constituencies.
A 24-hour EVM Control Room has been set up at Nirvachan Sadan in New Delhi to monitor complaints related to polled EVMs. The Control Room contact number is 011-23052123. (Inputs: Agencies, NGB)