Punjab chief electoral officer VK Singh, on Thursday said all arrangements for counting of votes on March 11 have been made. “More than 14,000 officials will be involved in the counting process at 54 counting centres in 27 locations.” The counting of votes would begin at 8am .
Punjab recorded a high voter turnout of 77.4% in the elections to decide the fate of 1,145 candidates, including 81 women and a transgender.
The CEO also said District Election Offices in the state, prominent public places and malls would witness TV screens, where live poll-results would be displayed. With a view to ensuring peaceful and flawless completion of whole counting process adequate security arrangements were also put in place, Singh said, adding unauthorised persons would not be allowed to enter the counting centres. Singh said that no body except the Election Observers would be allowed to carry mobile phones into the counting centres.
“No other officers or candidates or counting agents, security personnel and staff would be allowed to take their mobiles inside the centres,” he said. The CEO said the poll results would also be updated on the website of election commission.
Capt claims majority, Sukhbir trashes surveys, APP upbeat
All three main contenders in the February 4 state assembly polls are expressing confidence of winning enough seats to form the government.
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) combine, Congress and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) are claiming victory despite the exit polls showing no single party bagging enough seats to form the government on its own. All exit polls have given the ruling SAD-BJP alliance less than 10 seats.
For the first time, with AAP’s entry, the state polls witnessed a triangular contest in most of the 117 assembly constituencies.
Reacting to the exit polls, Punjab Congress chief Capt Amarinder Singh said he was optimistic that his party will get a clear majority with 62-65 seats . “The exit polls are indicative of the positive trend in favour of the Congress. The actual results will also be in favour of our party,” he said.
SAD president and deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal said, “The results will prove all surveys wrong”.
AAP’s state in-charge Sanjay Singh couldn’t be contacted, but he claimed clean sweep for AAP on Twitter citing different exit polls.
The result of by-election to the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat, vacated by Punjab Congress president Capt Amarinder Singh in November, will also be declared on Saturday.