2022 elections vote counting: D-day dawns with vote counting for 5 state polls - Hindustan Times
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Counting begins in BJP, Congress, Samajwadi Party, AAP's race for 5 states

Mar 10, 2022 08:32 AM IST

2022 Assembly elections result: Elections for UP,  Punjab, Goa, Manipur, and Uttarakhand were held starting February 10.

Counting of votes for Assembly elections in five states - Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, Manipur and Uttarakhand - has begun, with the Bharatiya Janata Party widely expected to win at least three of the states. Exit polls predict the BJP will retain UP and Manipur, and probably Uttarakhand as well, with the race for Goa set to go down to the wire with the Congress. The big surprise is in Punjab, where Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party is expected to win.

2022 Punjab Assembly election results: Counting of votes in Amritsar(HT)
2022 Punjab Assembly election results: Counting of votes in Amritsar(HT)

Full coverage: 2022 Assembly elections

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Votes will be counted - while following Covid protocols - for all states with postal ballots first up. Initial trends are expected to emerge within a couple of hours, but it will likely be several hours before a complete picture emerges for each state, particularly in Goa, where exit polls predict a hung Assembly.

BJP to win UP, Uttarakhand; AAP to win Punjab; tight race in Goa: New exit poll

Allegations of fraud and tampering of EVMs (electronic voting machines) have already begun, with Akhilesh Yadav's Samajwadi Party accusing officials in UP's Varanasi of illegally transporting the machines.

Three officials have been removed from election duty following the complaint - a nodal officer for EVMs in Varanasi, a returning officer (RO) in Sonbhadra district, and an additional election officer in Bareilly district.

LIVE UP Election 2022: Will BJP get another term? Big Counting Day today

Over 50,000 officials have been deployed across 1,200 counting rooms in the five states.  UP has the most counting rooms (750) followed by Punjab (200).

Security has also been increased at several cities in UP, including Prayagraj, where four-layered protection has been set up around Mundera Mandi, where counting of votes for the cities 12 Assembly constituencies will take place.

The Varanasi District Magistrate, as well as the Election Commission of India, brushed aside the allegations, saying the machines were meant for ‘training purpose" and were being transported in a truck. 

Counting of votes for Assembly elections in five states - Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, Manipur and Uttarakhand - will begin shortly, with the Bharatiya Janata Party widely expected to win at least three of the states. Exit polls predict the BJP will retain UP and Manipur, and probably Uttarakhand as well, with the race for Goa set to go down to the wire with the Congress. The big surprise is in Punjab, where Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party is expected to win.

Full coverage: 2022 Assembly elections

Votes will be counted - while following Covid protocols - for all states starting 8 am at all centres. Initial trends are expected to emerge within a couple of hours, but it will likely be several hours before a complete picture emerges for each state, particularly in Goa, where exit polls predict a hung Assembly.

BJP to win UP, Uttarakhand; AAP to win Punjab; tight race in Goa: New exit poll

Allegations of fraud and tampering of EVMs (electronic voting machines) have already begun, with Akhilesh Yadav's Samajwadi Party accusing officials in UP's Varanasi of illegally transporting the machines.

Three officials have been removed from election duty following the complaint - a nodal officer for EVMs in Varanasi, a returning officer (RO) in Sonbhadra district, and an additional election officer in Bareilly district.

LIVE UP Election 2022: Will BJP get another term? Big Counting Day today

Over 50,000 officials have been deployed across 1,200 counting rooms in the five states.  UP has the most counting rooms (750) followed by Punjab (200).

Security has also been increased at several cities in UP, including Prayagraj, where four-layered protection has been set up around Mundera Mandi, where counting of votes for the cities 12 Assembly constituencies will take place.

The Varanasi District Magistrate, as well as the Election Commission of India, brushed aside the allegations, saying the machines were meant for ‘training purpose" and were being transported in a truck. 

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The BJP had petitioned the Election Commission for action against Akhilesh Yadav for allegedly trying to "incite anti-social elements" over the poll process.

READ: EVM furore sets stage for battle between Yogi, Akhilesh in UP

The early exchange of letters and barbs signals how tense the fight will be for UP - seen as a politically key state for the BJP ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls and an indicator of how strong Akhilesh Yadav (and others) might be.

Exit polls by Republic P-Marq, India Today-Axis My India, Times Now-Veto, ABP-CVoter, and News24-Today's Chanakya all predict the BJP will cross the majority mark of 202 seats in the 403-member Assembly, with the Samajwadi Party finishing second with a maximum of 160.

The Congress, the exit polls say, must be content with a single-digit return, and that will be another blow to the once-dominant political outfit. 

The GOP has struggled at the polls over the past few years, and is expected to lose control of Punjab in this round of elections, with the AAP predicted to emerge as the winner. Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Wednesday told party workers not to be disheartened and continue their struggle.

READ: ‘Our fight has just begun…’: Priyanka Gandhi on UP vote counting

The AAP is expected to coast past the majority mark of 59 in the 117-member Punjab Assembly, with the Congress and the Akali Dal set to fight it out for second place and the BJP a distant third.

Punjab Election: Arvind Kejriwal's AAP set for 1st win outside Delhi

The coastal state of Goa could see the tightest race of the five after every major exit poll expecting a hung house. In fact, Republic is right on the fence, predicting a 13-17 return for both the ruling BJP and the Congress. The majority mark in the 40-member Assembly is 21.

Goa Election 2022: BJP, Congress go head-to-head, smaller parties may be key

The BJP is expected to retain Uttarakhand as well, despite changing chief ministers thrice in four months last year. Pushkar Singh Dhami, the incumbent, has expressed confidence the party will return with 45+ seats to its name.

Exit polls agree with Dhami but, as in UP, the margin will be significantly reduced. In 2017 the BJP swept an incredible 57 of 70 seats. India Today, Times Now, and News 24 all predict in their favour, with a 36 to 46 seat spread.

The Uttarakhand Assembly has 70 seats with the majority mark at 36.

Uttarakhand polls: BJP, Congress set to slug it out to form new government

The ruling BJP and its allies are expected to have an easy win in Manipur with Republic giving them 27-31 of 60 seats. 

While they may fall short of the majority of 31, the Congress is expected to win only 11-17, giving the BJP wriggle room to form post-poll deals with local parties. Times Now gives the BJP 32-38 seats and India Today a 33-43 result.

With input from PTI

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