Counting begins for 117 Punjab assembly seats

Chandigarh, March 11: Counting of votes for 117 assembly seats and the by-election to the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat began across Punjab on Saturday amid tight security.

The counting, which started at 8 a.m, is taking place at 54 centres in 27 locations. Early trends are likely to emerge within the first couple of hours.

The fate of 1,145 candidates, including 81 women, will be known on Saturday. A total of 77.4 per cent of the 1.98 crore electors in Punjab voted on February 4.

"Over 14,000 officials will be involved in counting," Punjab Chief Electoral Officer V.K. Singh said.

The counting started amid uncertainty amid the possibility of a hung house.

The main contenders for powers are the Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP combine, the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

A party needs 59 seats to gain a simple majority in the assembly.

The by-election to the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat, vacated by Congress leader Amarinder Singh in November 2016, was also held with the assembly polls.