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Counting of votes begins

December 04, 2003 08:26 IST
Last Updated: December 04, 2003 08:28 IST

Counting of votes for four state assemblies that went to the polls on December 1 began this morning amidst tight security to decide the fate of more than 5,000 candidates for 590 seats.

As electronic voting machines were used in all the states -- Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Delhi -- early trends are likely to emerge within a few hours and final results are expected to be announced by evening.

Voting was held for 230 seats in Madhya Pradesh, 200 in Rajasthan, 90 in Chhattisgarh, and 70 in Delhi.

Among those whose fates will be decided today are Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh chief ministers Sheila Dikshit, Ashok Gehlot, Digvijay Singh and Ajit Jogi, respectively.

Among opposition Bharatiya Janata Party politicians whose fortunes are sealed in the EVMs are the party's chief ministerial candidates in Rajasthan (Vasundhara Raje), Madhya Pradesh (Uma Bharti) and Delhi (Madan Lal Khurana).

A strong posse of security personnel have been deployed at all counting centres in the four states.

Television exit polls have predicted a clear win for BJP in Madhya Pradesh and the possiblity of a hung assembly in Rajasthan and Chhattishgarh with Delhi clearly going in favour of Congress.

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