Andhra Pradesh ready for counting of votes

May 15th, 2009 - 10:19 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, May 15 (IANS) The stage is set for counting of votes polled in the state assembly and Lok Sabha elections in Andhra Pradesh amid tight security Saturday.
Amid predictions of a hung assembly, counting will begin at 8 a.m. at 106 centres across the state.

Election authorities will first take up counting of ballot papers before opening the electronic voting machines (EVMs). The first trends are likely to be available in half-an-hour and all the results are expected to be declared by 1 p.m.

The state went to simultaneous polls for the 294-member state assembly and 42 Lok Sabha seats in two phases April 16 and 23.

Over 75 percent of 57.7 million voters cast their votes, deciding the political fortunes of 569 candidates for Lok Sabha polls and 3,655 for assembly elections.

The state witnessed a three-cornered contest between the ruling Congress party, the four-party ‘Mahakutami’ or the grand alliance led by Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and Praja Rajyam of actor-turned-politician Chiranjeevi.

Chief Electoral Officer I.V. Subba Rao said 25,000 personnel would be deployed for the counting process.

With intelligence reports warning of violence in some parts of the state, police have made elaborate security arrangements to prevent any untoward incident.

Prohibitory orders banning assembly of five or more persons have been imposed in the state capital and some other sensitive places.

Prohibitory orders were also imposed around counting centres. Additional director general of police A.K. Khan told reporters that about 250 to 400 policemen were deployed around every counting centre.

Subba Rao said the political parties would have to take permission from the district collector and superintendents of police for taking out victory processions.

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