New Delhi, May 23 Officials on Thursday morning began counting the millions of votes cast in the Lok Sabha elections across the country whose verdict will determine who gets to rule India for the next five years.
Thousands of Election Commission officials began the mammoth exercise in thousands of centres in states and Union Territories amid tight security.
Around 67 per cent of the nearly 900 million voters exercised their franchise in the seven-phase elections that began on April 11 and ended on May 19.
Exit polls have predicted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is most likely to return to power.
The counting began at 8 a.m. as scheduled, with officials first taking up the postal ballots.
A total number of 8,049 candidates were in the race for 542 Lok Sabha seats. Election in Vellore in Tamil Nadu was countermanded by the Election Commission.
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