New Delhi: Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is all set for a landslide victory in the northern state of Punjab where voting took place on February 20. Meanwhile, in Uttar Pradesh, the BJP has again appeared as the formidable force taking a comfortable lead way above the majority mark of 202, as counting of votes entered its third hour on Thursday. As per official trends posted on the Election Commission website, the BJP is now leading in 260 seats.
As per the latest trends, the AAP is ahead in 89 seats while the Congress, which rules the state, is struggling with 12 seats. The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are ahead in 11 and five seats respectively.
The win would undoubtedly catapult Kejriwal to national politics with the AAP ruling Delhi and now assuming power for the first time in Punjab.
Former Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal, current Chief Minister and Congress leader Charanjit Singh Channi are all trailing.
In Uttarakhand, BJP is marching ahead in 24 seats while Congress has taken early leads in 20 seats.
The BJP is also marching ahead in eight seats in Goa while Congress is leading in four. In Manipur, BJP is leading in four seats while the Congress is leading in three.
Observers have been deployed on ground to ensure the smooth counting process.
The polling was conducted in seven phases in Uttar Pradesh, two phases in Manipur and one phase in Goa, Punjab and Uttarakhand. The polling began on February 10 and lasted till March 7. The Election Commission has also deputed two special officers – Chief Electoral Officer Delhi to Meerut and Chief Electoral Officer Bihar to Varanasi to supervise the counting arrangements.
According to the EC, strong rooms, where polled EVMs are kept, are under three layered security with inner cordon manned by Central Armed Forces. It further said that the concerned candidates have been watching the strong room arrangements through CCTV coverage of 24×7.
It said, “There has been some rumours related to EVMs, which are totally unrelated to polled EVMs. “In each case of slightest breach of protocol, swift action has been taken by the Commission against the concerned officers.”