Today, on the 23rd of May, India gears up for counting of votes for the seven-phase elections to the country’s Lower House of Parliament.
Beginning at 8 AM across 542 Lok Sabha constituencies at various counting booths, will decide the fate of 8049 candidates. By evening, India will likely know who will get to hold the reins of power in the world’s largest democracy for the next five years.
This time the outcomes of five polling booths per assembly segment will be tallied with voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) slips. The security of electronic voting machines has also emerged as a crucial issue with opposition parties raising doubts over their credibility.
Though the EC made it clear to the 22 Opposition parties on Tuesday that the old protocol for counting the paper slips will continue, its top officials met on Wednesday and decided against making any last-minute changes to the way they are to be tallied.
The Lok Sabha Elections started on April 11, which was the phase 1 voting day and ended on May 19, thus giving four days before the result day.
This result will decide if BJP-led NDA or Congress-led UPA will form the government at the Centre.
As of now, the exit polls have predicted an outright majority for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s alliance in the seven-phase election. Six of seven exit polls have predicted the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) will comfortably exceed the majority mark of 272 seats in parliament’s lower house.
The Congress and other Opposition parties dismissed the exit poll results as fake.