Srinagar: Counting of votes for the 87-member Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly began today amid tight security at various centres set up by the Election authorities.
Counting centres have been set up at all 22 district headquarters of the state while additional counting centres have been set up in constituencies which have been cut off by snow or inclement weather, officials said.
Elaborate security arrangements have been made for the counting process with police and paramilitary personnel deployed in strength around the counting centres and in some parts of the city.
A strategy has been put in place to deal with any law and order problem which may arise during or after the counting. A total of 821 candidates, including 276 independents, contested the elections.
The voter turnout in the state this year was 65 per cent which was 4 per cent more than the last Assembly elections held in 2008—development which has generated hope as well as anxiety among all major political parties.
While the ruling National Conference is claiming that higher voter turnout will benefit it at the hustings, PDP and BJP are maintaining that it is a reflection of the people's desire for a change.
Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and Opposition PDP's chief ministerial candidate Mufti Muhammad Sayeed are among the 821 candidates, who are seeking election from the 87 constituencies.