All set for vote counting in Maharashtra
The stage is set for Friday's counting of the millions of votes cast in 48 Lok Sabha constituencies in Maharashtra, including six in the country's commercial capital Mumbai, officials said here Thursday.
Counting will be held at 41 centres across the state, including four in Mumbai from 8 a.m. onwards.
"We are absolutely ready and prepared for the counting process. We hope everything will go smoothly," a top Election Commission official told IANS.
The votes cast in as many as 90,404 electronic voting machines (EVMs) shall be counted by around 25,000 officials across the state.
The officials indicated that major trends shall be visible by noon, but were not sure when the final results could be announced.
A total of 897 candidates contested the Lok Sabha election held in three phases in the state - April 10, April 17 and April 24.
Of the total electorate of 8.06 crore, 60.42 percent exercised their franchise.
Some of the prominent candidates whose fate would be known Friday include union ministers Sushilkumar Shinde, Milind Deora, Praful Patel, former chief minister Ashok Chavan, Congress general secretary Gurudas Kamat, state ministers Sunil Tatkare and Chhagan Bhujbal, senior Bharatiya Janata Party leaders like Nitin Gadkari, Gopinath Munde, Aam Aadmi Party's Mayank Gandhi and Anjali Damania.
Police are maintaining tight security at all the counting stations since the past few weeks after polling was completed.
Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria has banned any type of celebrations or victory rallies in and around the vicinity of the counting centres as a precautionary measure.- IANS