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Updated: March 6, 2012 08:35 IST

Counting of votes begin in Punjab

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Counting of votes for 117 assembly seats in Punjab started at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, Election Commission officials said here.

The fate of 1,078 candidates, including 93 women and 417 independents, will be decided during the day. Voting was held in the state Jan 30.

Most results are expected later in the afternoon after all rounds of counting of votes on the electronic voting machines (EVMs) are completed, a Punjab Election Commission official said.

There are 52 counting centres across the state.

Nearly 78 per cent of the 17.6 million voters exercised their franchise. This was an all-time record for assembly polls in the state.

The main contest is between the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alliance and the Congress.

A third front, Sanjha Morcha, formed recently and led by former finance minister Manpreet Badal’s People’s Party of Punjab (PPP), had added a new dimension to the state’s politics.

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