The counting of votes polled in the five-phase Assembly elections in Jharkhand will begin at 8 a.m. on Wednesday in 24 districts.

The counting for the Assembly by-elections held on December 19 in Tiruchendur and Vandavasi (SC) in Tamil Nadu, and Yaiskul in Manipur will also be taken up on Wednesday.

Though the Pulivendula Assembly constituency -- represented by the former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy -- too went to the polls the same day, Dr. Reddy’s wife Vijayalakshmi (Congress) was declared elected unopposed as there was no other nomination.

For the 81-member Jharkhand Assembly, elections were held on November 25, December 2, 8, 12 and 18, and altogether 1,491 candidates, including 105 women, contested.

By-elections announced

The Election Commission has announced by-elections to four Assembly seats -- Chotila in Gujarat, Ellenabad in Haryana, Bhiwandi East in Maharashtra and Pennagaram in Tamil Nadu -- on January 20.

The model code has already come into effect. The notification will be issued on December 26, and January 2 is the last date for filing nominations. The papers will be scrutinised on January 4 and the last date of withdrawal is January 6.

The counting of votes will be taken up on January 23. The poll process will come to an end on January 24.