capping a two-month long election process which witnessed high-octane campaigning and charges of tampering EVMs and violations of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC).
The counting process also started at 8 am for four state assemblies -- Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh, and by-elections in 22 seats in Tamil Nadu, which went to polls along with the general elections. The outcome of the by-polls could change the fate of the AIADMK-led government in the state.
Representatives of political parties were present at the counting centres across India where the electronic voting machines (EVMs) were kept in strong rooms.
Most exit polls have predicted a comfortable majority for the BJP-led NDA whose campaign was spearheaded by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The opposition, however, has rejected the exit polls, calling them wrong and erroneous.
According to early trends, NDA is way ahead of UPA and is even bettering its 2014 results. BJP is currently leading in 272 states
1. NDA comfortably placed
9.30 AM: NDA ahead in 290. UPA in 102 and others in 63.
At 9 AM, NDA is ahead in 201 seats. UPA in 90 seats and others in 42 seats.
Mehbooba Mufti and Shatrughan Sinha is trailing
Amit Shah, Narendra Modi, Rahul Gandhi (Wayanad) is leading
2. State-wise trend at 9.30 AM
BJP-46 MGB-13 Others-1
BJP-21 Cong- 8