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Bated breath as counting of votes begins

By The Rediff News Bureau
May 16, 2009 08:09 IST
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Counting of votes in the nearly month-long Lok Sabha elections began at 8 am on Saturday at 4260 halls in 1080 centres across the country. The nationwide counting process is being manned by nearly 60,000 personnel, and the results are expected to be announced by the evening.

A little over half of the 71.38 crore registered voters had cast their votes through electronic voting machines in the election process that began on April 16 and ended on May 13.

In all, 8070 candidates from 46 national and state parties contested the elections to 543 Lok Sabha seats (two seats are reserved for the Anglo-Indian community).

Along with the Lok Sabha, elections to the assemblies of Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Sikkim were also held alongside and the results would be announced during the day.

Exit polls have given the edge to the Congress-led combine over the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance, although both are expected to fall short of the 272 seats required for government formation.

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