New Delhi: Counting of votes for the Assembly elections in Maharashtra and Haryana, seen as the first major test of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's popularity after the Lok Sabha polls, will be held today.
The vote counting for the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly and 90-member Haryana Assembly will start at 8 am in the two states which went to polls on October 15.
Haryana recorded its highest-ever turnout of 76.54 per cent while Maharashtra recorded 63.13 per cent polling.
Exit polls have projected that the BJP will emerge as the largest party in both Maharashtra and Haryana stopping short of majority.
Counting will be held across 288 counting centres at 269 locations in Maharashtra. Trends are expected to be available around noon and final results will begin pouring in around 3 PM.
Altogether, 63.13 per cent voters cast their vote in the Assembly polls. Polling was also held for the Beed Lok Sabha bypoll on October 15. Counting for it will also be taken up today.
BJP fielded 280, BSP 260, CPI 34, CPM 19, Congress 287, NCP 278, Shiv Sena 282 and MNS had fielded 219.
A total of 4119 candidates contested the poll. Of the 288 constituencies, including 36 constituencies in Mumbai, 234 are general, 29 reserved for scheduled castes and 25 for scheduled tribes.
In Haryana, the fate of the Bhupinder Singh Hooda-led Congress government, which is aiming at a third successive term, and BJP, which is eyeing to form a government on its own, would be known today.
The state had created history by clocking an all-time high polling of about 76.54 per cent, surpassing maximum of 72.65 per cent in 1967 in the high-stakes battle among top contenders Congress, BJP and INLD in a multi-cornered contest.
The fate of 1351 candidates, including 116 women - the highest number since the formation of the state in 1966, was sealed during the single day polling.
Unlike in the recent past, when the fight was mainly between Congress and Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), a number of new players have thrown their hats in the ring this time.