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: According to latest trend, BJP is leading in Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh is leading from Lucknow and Congress chief Rahul Gandhi is leading from Wayanad seat.

The Election Commission of India begins counting of votes in 542 parliamentary constituencies across India. Results are expected only by late evening, EC confirmed. According to latest reports, Rajnath Singh is leading from the Lucknow parliamentary constituency while Shatrughan Sinha’s wife Poonam Sinha is trailing.

The Election Commission deployed 200 companies of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) in West Bengal, in addition to the 82 companies already present in the state, to ensure security at the counting centres and check any post-poll violence when the exercise is taken up. The votes will be counted at 58 counting centres with around 25,000 counting personnel at 78,799 polling stations spread over 294 Assembly segments in West Bengal. The Election Commission will start counting votes in less than 10 minutes, i.e, by 8 am.

Buoyed by exit polls predicting a sweeping victory for the BJP in Delhi, the party’s unit has already ordered delicacies like ‘motichoor cakes’ and ‘kamal barfis’, a day before counting of votes for the Lok Sabha polls on Thursday.

Delhi BJP president Manoj Tiwari, asserting the party’s victory on all seven Lok Sabha seats in the national capital, said 350-kg of fine quality “ladoos” have been ordered for celebrations at the central office on DDU Marg and the Delhi unit’s office on Pant Marg.

The Election Commission of India will start counting of votes for the seven-phase Lok Sabha Elections today (23 May, Thursday) at 8 am, bringing the curtains down on a bitterly-fought election. BJP’s star candidate Tejasvi Surya, who contested the Lok Sabha election from Bangalore South, a seat that the party has held since 1991, said that he is confident of a win. The 28-year-old lawyer is a poster-boy for the saffron party: he is the state general secretary for the Karnataka BJP’s youth wing and also a party spokesperson.

Most of the exit polls have predicted that the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), the ruling party at the Centre, is on course to retain power for a second term, riding on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s charisma like the way he swept to power in 2014.

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