By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, May 18: The 37-day long suspense that followed the hurly-burly of campaigning and polling in the most bitterly-contested assembly elections in Assam, ends on Thursday.
Counting of votes in the high-stakes elections in Assam will be held tomorrow along with four other states — West Bengal, Tamil du, Kerala and Puducherry.
The counting of votes stored in EVMs and ballot boxes will start at 8 a.m. and results will be out by 2 p.m., Election Commission officials said. The trends will, however, start emerging at around 10 a.m.
There are 1,064 candidates contesting in the elections to the 126-member assembly.
The Election Commission has set up 51 counting centers, consisting of 143 counting halls and 1,771 counting tables, across the State.
Counting supervisors, counting assistants, micro observers, persons authorized by ECI, observers, public servants on duty in connection with election, candidates, their election agents and counting agents will only be allowed inside the counting halls.
In all, 126 ECI observers will observe the counting process. Counting staff comprising 5,313 officials will be deployed in 51 counting centers.
At each of the 1,771 counting tables, one micro observer will be deployed.
A three-tier security arrangement has been made at each counting center. The innermost tier will be manned by the Central Armed Police Forces.
The Congress is contesting in 122 seats and its alliance partner UPP has fielded candidates in the remaining four.
The BJP has stitched a pre-poll alliance with the AGP and BPF. The saffron party is contesting in 89 seats, AGP in 30 seats and BPF in 13 seats.
The AIUDF has fielded candidates in 74 seats.
The CPI is fighting in 15 seats, CPI(M) in 19, CPI(ML) in 7 and SUCI in 24.
There are 497 independents in the fray.
The State witnessed an all-time high turnout of 84.72 per cent during the two-phase polling on April 4 and 11. The highest polling was in Jaleshwar seat (93.53 percent) and the lowest in Silchar (75.05 percent).
Meanwhile, heavy rains flooded the strong room at Karimganj College last night.
Chief Electoral Officer Vijayendra said the administration was immediately alerted and the water pumped out of the rooms. The EVMs are safe, he said.
The CEO said the election officials were ready for the counting.
“The polling was peaceful and we hope the counting will also be peaceful,” he said.
Kamrup metro deputy commissioner M Angamuthu said the strong rooms, where EVMs of four constituencies of Guwahati have been kept, will be opened at 7 am.
“First, the counting of postal ballots will be taken up. We expect the results by 2 pm. There are 106 counting tables in the strong room,” he said.