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First Gujarat poll results expected by 10 AM
December 23, 2007 00:00 IST
Gujarat waits with bated breath as counting of votes in the fiercely contested Assembly elections will be taken up on Sunday and the first result is expected to be out by 1000 hours.
As political parties kept their fingers crossed for the outcome, which may alter the political landscape in the country, rival parties -- Congress and BJP -- are confident of victories and Chief Minister Narendra Modi [Images] waits to see whether he will be second time lucky at the hustings.
Exit polls by television channels projected that Modi will return to power but with a reduced majority. A hung assembly was also not being ruled out. In the outgoing 182-member House, BJP and Congress had 127 seats and 51 respectively.
The Election Commission has set up 37 counting stations throughout the state to tally votes polled in electronic voting machines in the two-phased elections.
The counting will commence at 0800 hours with the Congress and BJP locked in a virtual straight fight. Gujarat polls have for the first time attracted countrywide attention with Modi acquiring a larger than life image during the acrimonious poll campaign, which saw him involved in a slugfest with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] and Congress president Sonia Gandhi [Images].
The EC officials said all arrangements regarding the counting of votes have been completed.
"Every table will have a central government officer as an observer. After completion of each round of counting the observers will randomly select two EVMs and recheck the votes polled for party on those EVMs," Manek said.
The EC has developed a special software this time by which the data will be fed from the counting centres to the official website of the EC for public viewing, Manek said.