Counting of Votes for Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections to be held today

The counting of votes for Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections will be held today. It will start at 8 this morning. Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar and Election Commissioners Anup Chandra Pandey and Arun Goel reviewed the preparations for the counting of votes yesterday. The counting for by-polls to Mainpuri Lok Sabha seat and six Assembly constituencies in five States will also be held today. These Assembly constituencies are Rampur and Khatauli in Uttar Pradesh, Padampur in Odisha, Sardarshahar in Rajasthan, Kurhani in Bihar and Bhanupratappur in Chhattisgarh.

Elaborate and foolproof arrangements have been made at all the counting centres. Election Commission said, the results will be updated periodically on the Commission’s website to display the current round-wise trends and results of each constituency. People can also access the trends and results on the Commission’s VoterHelpline App Mobile App.

In Gujarat, 37 counting centres have been set up covering 182 seats. More than 800 personnel have been deployed for the counting which includes 182 observers. A micro observer, counting supervisor and counting assistant are deployed at each counting table. Election Commission will videograph the entire counting process.

Fate of 1 thousand 621 candidates including Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, his cabinet colleagues such as Harsh Sanghavi and Jitu Bhai Vaghani, Aam Aadmi Party’s Chief Ministerial candidate Isudan Gadhvi, youth leaders Hardik Patel, Jignesh Mevani, Alpesh Thakor, Alpesh Kathiria and Gopal Italia will be decided today. The elections will also be decisive for women leaders Riva Ba Jadeja, Manisha Vakil, Nimisha Ben Suthar.

“With the entry of Aam Aadmi Party, the state is witnessing a triangular contest this time. There is a tough fight between BJP, Congress and Aam Aadmi Party on many seats including Dwaraka, Porbanadar, Khmabalia, Tharad, Dariyapur, Varachha, Katargam, Dhoraji and Amreli where senior leaders from all the three parties are in the fray. All eyes are on the performance of Aam Aadmi Party which is trying to make inroads in the state as the third alternative. It will also be interesting to see whether the BJP is able to improve its performance compared to 2017 polls and will Congress retain its seats in Saurashtra and North Gujarat and Tribal Belt.

In the last elections, BJP had won 99 seats while Congress had got 77 and 3 seat went to independents. This time, President of Bharatiya Tribal Party and the sitting MLA of Jhagadiya seat Chhotubhai Vasava has contested as an independent. Similarly the lone winner of NCP from Kutiyana in 2017, Kandhal Jadeja is in the fray as Samajvadi Party candidate. Amid this, the final political picture will be clear by end of the day.

In Himachal Pradesh, 68 counting halls have been set up at 59 places. Mobile phone, iPad, laptop, and other recording devices have been banned at the counting centres. About 10,000 employees including security personnel have been deployed for smooth and peaceful counting. Polling for 68 member state assembly was held on November 12.

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