Counting in Haryana Elections on Sunday; BJP’s Ram Bilas Sharma Possible CM Choice?

Gurgaon: Women queue-up to cast their votes at a polling booth in Gurgaon of Haryana during Haryana Assembly Polls on Oct.15, 2014. (Photo: IANS)

Gurgaon: Women queue-up to cast their votes at a polling booth in Gurgaon of Haryana during Haryana Assembly Polls on Oct.15, 2014. (Photo: IANS)

As Sunday reckons the fate of 1,351 contesting candidates when the counting of votes for the 90-member Haryana assembly begins, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is confident of winning the elections that it began pondering at the possible candidates for the chief minister’s post and prominent among them are External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who belongs to Haryana, state BJP president Ram Bilas Sharma, senior leader Abhimanyu, Jat leader Birender Singh (who shifted from the Congress to the BJP recently) and Manohar Lal Khattar.

With most exit poll giving it a clear mandate, the BJP could come to power in Haryana for the first time. The BJP contested the Haryana assembly on its own for the first time, riding primarily on the political charisma of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

With no leader being projected as chief minister by the BJP, the names doing rounds are of

The Today’s Chanakya exit poll gave the BJP an absolute majority with 52 seats while the ABP-Nielsen survey put at the BJP count at 54 seats. The C-Voter survey gave BJP 37 seats, making it the single largest party.

“We will get a clear mandate in the election results. The BJP will form the next government on its own. We will not need the support from anyone. The party high command will decide who will become the next chief minister,” said Sharma.

The opposition Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) too exuded confidence about the impending results but surveys put the party at second spot, far away from the majority figure. The Congress, as per the exit polls, was staring at a rout after two terms in power.

Coming to the counting of votes,  state chief electoral officer Shrikant Walgad said, “All arrangements have been made for counting of votes tomorrow (Sunday). Counting of votes would be carried out at 90 counting centres in 57 places in the state.”

Haryana’s 1.63 crore electorate on Wednesday set a new voting record with over 76.54 percent polling in the state’s assembly elections, perking up the BJP’s hopes to come to power on its own.

Walgad said that the counting would begin at 8 a.m. and initial trends would be available from 9 a.m. onwards. He said that all results were expected to be declared by afternoon.

He said that about 5,000 officials would be put on duty for counting of votes all over the state. 30 companies of para-military forces, which had been guarding the strong rooms where EVMs were stored, would be deployed for the security arrangements.


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