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Gujarat results expected by Sunday afternoon
December 14, 2002 20:10 IST
Counting of votes in the crucial assembly election in Gujarat will begin on Sunday morning and all results are likely to be out by the afternoon.
Election Commission sources said counting for each constituency will be done separately and the entire process will be complete by 1400 IST.
Strict security arrangements have been made to ensure smooth counting in district headquarters all over the state. Counting for the by-election to the Mehsana Lok Sabha seat, which was held along with the assembly polls, will also be taken up on Sunday.
In Surat city (West), polling was countermanded following the death of Bharatiya Janata Party candidate and Minister of State for Law Hemant Chapatwala. It will now be held on January 9.
Repolling is being held on Saturday in 15 booths of seven assembly constituencies where the polls were either marred by violence or technical snags in voting machines.
The election had as many as 989 candidates in the fray with the BJP contesting all 181 seats and the Congress, 180. The state recorded a 61.52 per cent voter turnout with districts worst hit by the post-Godhra communal riots registering as much as 65 per cent.
Leaders of both the BJP and the Congress, including caretaker Chief Minister Narendra Modi and Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee president Shankersinh Vaghela, claimed that their parties will get a two-third majority.
Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Deputy Prime Minister Lal Kishenchand Advani, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and other top national leaders from both parties participated in an acrimonious campaign for the polls whose outcome is expected to have a bearing at the Centre.
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