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Lok Sabha election: Counting of votes today; Nation awaits result with bated breath

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New Delhi, May 23: The counting of votes for the world's largest elections which were held in seven phases over 39 days would be held on Thursday (May 23) and by the afternoon the same day it would become firly clear who would form the next government. The results of Lok Sabha elections 2019 are locked in EVMs held in strongrooms and the counting would begin at 8 am.

Parliament

Approximately 60 crore voters have cast ballots across 10 lakh booths in 29 states and seven union territories. The fate of over 8,000 candidates in a total of 542 parliamentary constituencies will be revealed after the counting of votes begins.

As per procedure, postal ballots will be counted first. Service voters stood at 18 lakh. These include diplomats and support staff posted in Indian embassies abroad, personnel of the armed forces, central police force personnel and state police personnel who are posted outside their constituencies.

[2004 exit polls: When surveys got it horribly wrong]

Total 67.11 per cent of the 90.99 crore electors had cast their vote in the seven-phase elections. This is the highest ever voter turnout in Indian parliamentarian elections. The Election Commission is yet to provide the number of counting centres being set up for Thursday, saying the data is not centrally available. Out of the 543 Lok Sabha seats, elections were held in 542 constituencies as the EC had cancelled polls to the Vellore constituency on the grounds of excessive use of money power.

[This is how BJP fought 2019 LS Elections]

Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its National Democratic Alliance (NDA) would be looking to retain power at the Centre, while the Opposition parties, including Rahul Gandhi-led Congress, would be hoping to wrest power.

Most of the exit polls have predicted Prime Minister Narendra Modi's return to office. Exit polls can predict a general trend and give a rough idea about the actual result, but these surveys can by no means be taken as gospel truth.

[Lok Sabha Elections 2019: What is at stake for BJP and Congress]

Most pollsters are backing BJP-led NDA to bag India's most electorally crucial state, Uttar Pradesh, despite a strong, no-holds-barred push by the SP-BSP alliance. Delhi seems to be heading towards yet another 7-0 sweep for the BJP, with the Opposition votes splitting almost vertically between Congress and Aam Aadmi Party. surveys predict NDA gaining in Odisha and West Bengal and dominating the two-way contest states like Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Karnataka and Gujarat. This will possibly extend to states like Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand as well.

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