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UP Poll Result: Counting Begins Amid Beefed Up Security Arrangements

Security arrangements have been put in place and senior officials are maintaining a close watch on the counting process, especially after some political parties raised some objections.

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The counting of votes for the 403 Assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh began on Thursday morning with a three-layer security in place and cameras installed at all centres.

"The counting in all 75 districts of the state began at 8 am with postal ballots being counted first," a senior election official said.

VVPAT (voter-verified paper audit trail) slips of five machines will be counted in every Assembly constituency.

The official said cameras have been installed at all counting centres. 

"Adequate AROs (assistant returning officers) have been deployed in every Assembly constituency for interruption-free counting," the senior official said, adding the necessary Covid protocol is also being maintained.

Security arrangements have been put in place and senior officials are maintaining a close watch on the counting process, especially after some political parties raised some objections, he said.

A three-layer security has been set up. This includes the central police forces, provincial armed constabulary and the state police. the official said.

Police said 250 CAPF companies have been deployed. A CAPF company usually has around 70-80 personnel.

As many as 625 gazetted officers of the UP Police, 1,807 inspectors, 9,598 sub-inspectors, 11,627 head constables and 48,649 constables have also been deployed, the officials added.

The model code of conduct for the elections had come into force on January 8.

While the BJP is trying to retain its power, the Samajwadi Party has emerged as a major contender in the elections. 

Samajwadi Party chief  Akhilesh Yadav had on Tuesday accused the ruling BJP of trying to "steal votes" and claimed that a truck carrying EVMs was "intercepted" in Varanasi.

The Election Commission clarified that the machines were for the training of officials on counting duty and were not used in elections.

All exit polls after the end of voting on March 7 had shown the BJP returning to power in Uttar Pradesh. They predicted an increase in tally for the Samajwadi Party but not enough seats to form government.

The exit polls forecast two-digit seats for the BSP while Congress count to be in single digit.

In 2017, the BJP-led alliance had won 325 seats, the SP 47, BSP 19 and the Congress seven. 

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