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Election Commission gears up for the counting of votes today as the countdown to the Gujarat Assembly poll results started

The counting of votes for the Gujarat Assembly election will begin at 37 centres at 8 am. Gujarat Chief Electoral officer P Bharathi said that 182 counting observers, 182 election officers and 494 assistant election officers will be on duty for the counting process. There will be an additional 78 Assistant Election Officers for the counting of votes. In addition, 71 additional Assistant Election Officers have been assigned responsibility for the electronically transmitted postal ballot system.

At 8:00 am first counting of postal ballots will be done and from 8:30 am along with postal ballots counting of the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) votes will also start.

CEO P Bharathi said that all the counting staff have been appointed. The second randomization will also be completed on Wednesday and the third randomization process will be done at 5:00 am on Thursday before the counting of votes.

A micro-observer, counting supervisor and counting assistant are assigned duty at each polling centre table. The entire counting process will be video graphed.

Catch all the updates on Gujarat Elections here

The EVMs will be taken out of the strongroom and set up in the counting hall in the presence of the Returning Officer/Assistant Returning Officer, candidate counting agents and observers appointed by the Election Commission of India.

CEO P Bharathi after reviewing the preparations for the counting of votes said that all necessary preparations have been completed at 37 counting stations in 33 districts of the state.

The exit polls have indicated a clear win for the incumbent Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Gujarat.

BJP has been in power in Gujarat for 27 years with Prime Minister Narendra Modi remaining in the Chief Minister's post for the longest time before becoming the Prime Minister. Congress gave a tough fight to the ruling BJP in the last assembly elections in 2017. However, AAP may spoil the game for Congress by taking away a significant vote share in their favour.

During the campaign, the party positioned itself and its national convenor Kejriwal as the sole challenger of the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi respectively. The results of the high stakes polls in Modi’s home state will determine whether the AAP could successfully elbow out the Congress as number two in the tally and emerge as the principal challenger of the BJP.

The feat, if achieved, will also determine the role that Kejriwal would play in stopping the Modi juggernaut in 2024 Lok Sabha polls. Already recognised as the state party in Delhi, Punjab and Goa, the AAP is just a state away from earning the national party status. To earn a national party status, a political outfit needs to be recognized in at least four states, and to be recognised as a state party, it needs to win at least two seats and 6 per cent of votes polled in the Assembly election. In other words, AAP needs to win just two seats and secure 6 per cent of votes in Thursday’s voting

Assembly elections in Gujarat were held in two phases on December 1 and 5. The approximate voter turnout by the end of the second phase of the Gujarat elections was recorded at 59.11 per cent.

During the first phase of polling on December 1, Gujarat saw an overall turnout of 63.14 per cent.

*With inputs from agencies

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