Amid tight security, counting of votes for 17 Lok Sabha constituencies in Telangana got underway Thursday in 126 counting halls located at 35 places across the State.
In the first round of counting, postal votes and electronically transmitted postal ballot (ETPBS) have been taken up for counting and subsequently votes from Electronic Voting Machines will be counted, according to official sources.
A clear picture of poll performance of the candidates including trends is expected before noon.
As many as 443 candidates from various political parties and independents are in the fray in the polls that were held on April 11 in the first phase.
The Electoral exercise was undertaken in 34,603 polling stations and 18,526 polling locations.
A senior police official said elaborate security arrangements are in place at counting centres in Telangana with deployment of nearly 10,000 police personnel.
The TRS has repeatedly claimed that it would sweep the polls, along with AIMIM-led by Asaduddin Owaisi, who is seeking re-election from Hyderabad.
Exit polls have predicted that the TRS would win majority of seats.
It is also a major test for the Congress, which had seen 11 of its total 19 MLAs shifting loyalty to the TRS since the beginning of March.
And no less for the BJP which won a mere one seat in the December Assembly polls, in which it forfeited deposit in more than 100 of the 119 segments.
Rajat Kumar had said counting of VVPATs (Voter Verifiable paper Audit Trail) will be done as per the Supreme Court order which stipulated that five VVPATs should be counted for each Assembly segment.
Over 6,500 employees are engaged in counting of votes.
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