SRINAGAR: The fate of 831 candidates, including Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, and the Opposition PDP’s chief ministerial candidate Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, will be sealed on Tuesday as counting of votes for the five-phased Jammu and Kashmir Assembly elections will take place amid tight security measures.
According to J&K Chief Electoral Officer Umang Narula, 28 counting centres have been set up across the state and the entire counting process will be videographed.
The counting of votes will start at 8 am and first trends will be known within an hour. Over 15,000 Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) have been kept under high security in strong rooms across the state. Officials said three-tier security arrangements have been put in place for smooth and peaceful counting. Paramilitary personnel will be deployed inside the counting centres while police and the CRPF would remain guard the counting centres.
“Prohibitory orders under Section 144 CrPC will be in force in and around the counting centres,” they said. Officials said out of the total 73.18 lakh electorate in the state, about 48.29 lakh had exercised their franchise in the five-phased elections for the 87-member. It recorded an overall 66 per cent voter turnout, highest in the last 25 years.
Omar is contesting from two seats -- Beerwah in central Kashmir and Sonawar in Srinagar -- while Mufti is contesting from Anantnag seat in South Kashmir. Among the 831 candidates 803 are males and 28 females. Exit polls have predicted a hung Assembly with the PDP emerging as the single largest party followed by the BJP.
According to exit polls, the NC, the single largest party with 28 seats in the outgoing Assembly, has been shown trailing at third place and the Congress at fourth. In the outgoing J&K Assembly, the NC had 28 seats, the PDP 19, the Congress 17 and the BJP 11.
For the first time, the BJP contested most of the Assembly seats in Jammu and Kashmir, and had launched ‘Mission 44+’ to form the next government.