Shimla: Counting of votes for all 68 assembly seats in Himachal Pradesh and for 182 assembly seats in Gujarat started at 8 am on Thursday, Election Commission officials said.

READ MORE: Gujarat elections, Himachal Pradesh elections

Counting of votes for Gujarat

Assembly elections in Gujarat, which witnessed a historic 71.32 per cent voter turnout, began this morning for all the 182 constituencies, with pollsters predicting a third straight term in office for Narendra Modi.

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Polling in Gujarat was held in two phases on December 13 and 17, and the counting began at 8 AM at 33 places in the state where 44,579 Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) have been kept in rooms under heavy security.

The 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, sources in the Election Commission said.
Within 3-4 hours, trends will be available and hopefully by 4 PM all results will be declared, they said.

The fate of 1,666 candidates including Gujarat Chief Minister Modi, his cabinet colleagues, Congress stalwarts like party state unit president Arjun Modhwadia, Leader of Opposition Shaktisinh Gohil and former Chief Minister Shankarsinh Vaghela would be decided on Thursday.

Counting of votes for Himachal Pradesh

The fate of 459 candidates, including 106 independents, will be decided during the day. Voting was held Nov 4.Nearly 74 percent of the 4.6 million electors exercised their franchise.

This was an all-time record for assembly polls in the hill state.The main contest is between the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress. The heavyweights in the battle include Congress leaders Virbhadra Singh, Vidya Stokes and Kaul Singh and BJP's Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, former health minister Rajeev Bindal and Public Health Minister Ravinder Ravinder Ravi.

The Himachal Lokhit Party (HLP), formed under the leadership of BJP rebel and four-time former MP Maheshwar Singh, and the CPI-M are giving a tough fight to both main political parties on more than five seats.

The NCP and the Trinamool Congress contested for the first time in the state.In 2007, the BJP won 41 seats, the Congress 23, the Bahujan Samaj Party one seat and independents three seats. The BSP legislator later joined the BJP.


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