The counting of votes for the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections began on Thursday at 8 AM.
The counting in Gujarat began at 37 centres in 33 districts. While in Himachal, there are 68 counting halls in 59 locations across the state. Himachal Pradesh’s Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Maneesh Garg said that 10,000 duty staff including the security personnel have been deployed as part of security arrangements in Himachal Pradesh.
He said that teams of returning officers and assistant returning officers have also been deployed to ensure a smooth counting process.
While, Gujarat Chief Electoral Officer P Bharathi said that 182 counting observers, 182 election officers and 494 assistant election officers will be on duty for the counting process. There will be an additional 78 Assistant Election Officers for the counting of votes. In addition, 71 additional Assistant Election Officers have been assigned responsibility for the electronically transmitted postal ballot system in the previous polls.
Earlier on December 1 and 5, Assembly elections in Gujarat were held in two phases. The approximate voter turnout in Gujarat by the end of the second phase of the Gujarat elections was recorded at 59.11 per cent.
During the first phase of polling on December 1, Gujarat saw an overall turnout of 63.14 per cent. While polling for 68 assembly seats in Himachal Pradesh was held on November 12.
The approximate voter turnout in Himachal polls recorded 75.6 per cent turnout, breaking the 2017 record.
Meanwhile, the exit polls have indicated a clear win for the incumbent Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Gujarat.
Both BJP and Congress have claimed victory in the state of Himachal Pradesh which has had a tradition of changing governments for the past several years
According to the exit polls predicted on Monday in Himachal Pradesh, BJP has the edge over Congress in a tough fight.
While most exit polls predicted that BJP will likely retain Himachal Pradesh, one exit poll predicted Congress to lead in the sweepstakes to form government in the hill state.
BJP has been in power in Gujarat for 27 years with Prime Minister Narendra Modi remaining in the Chief Minister’s post for the longest time before becoming the Prime Minister. Congress gave a tough fight to the ruling BJP in the last assembly elections in 2017. However, AAP may spoil the game for Congress by taking away a significant vote share in their favour.