Stage set for counting of votes in K'taka

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Bangalore, May 23 (UNI) Stage is set for the counting process of the 14th Karnataka Assembly elections on May 25 with the results of all the 224 Assembly constituencies being expected to be declared by 1500 hrs the same day.

Briefing mediapersons here today, State Chief Electoral Officer M N Vidyashankar said for the first time in the country a new software was being installed to enable real-time declaration of results at the state headquarters here.

He said all the 46 counting centres across the state have been networked through a local area network and linked to the statewide area network.

The trends would start trickling in around 1030 hrs after counting of votes by using Electronic Voting Machines commenced at around 0800 hrs. Initially, the postal ballots would be counted, he added.

An estimated 64.72 per cent of the 40.32 million voters had cast their franchise in the three phase polling held on May 10, May 16 and May 22 sealing the fate of 2,253 candidates-- 224 from the BJP, 222 from the Congress, 209 from the JD(S), 217 from the BSP and 121 from Samajwadi Party.

The State Information Department had made elaborate arrangements at a media centre here to declare the results. The media centre had been set up at the new Vartha Bhavan with all the latest electronic gadgets, including broadband internet, computers and scanners. The centre had been networked extensively to all the district units to enable free flow of results, Mr I M Vittalamurthy, State Principal Secretary for Information and Tourism told mediapersons.

The National Informatic Centre would provide exclusive information from each and every counting centre.

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