Chandigarh, May 14 : Counting of votes for Punjab panchayat polls began this morning, amid tight security.
The polling for the 324 members of 20 zila parishads and 141 members of panchayat samitis in 12,705 villages was held on May 12. An estimated 67 per cent voters exercised their franchise for elections.
The panchayat polls are seen as a litmus test for Sukhbir Singh Badal, son of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, who took over reins of the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) early this year.
The exercise is also seen as a referendum on policies and programmes of the SAD-BJP Government in the state.
BJP has put up candidates in 54 zilla parishad and 380 panchayat samiti seats, mostly falling in state's Malwa region.
The elections of the gram panchayats are scheduled to be held on May 26.