The counting process started at 8am in 839 halls spread over in five states involving 43,982 personnel.
The Election Commission has made elaborate arrangements for the massive exercise and pressed into service nearly 17,700 central security personnel to provide a three-tier security.
The entire process, which would decide the fate of several political leaders, is being videographed to prevent any malpractice. According to Chief Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi, the poll outcome is expected by “early lunch”.
“Efficient and secure arrangements are in place for counting and declaration of results”, Quraishi said.
The counting is taking place in 142 counting halls in Assam, 140 in Kerala, 11 in Puducherry, 234 in Tamil Nadu and 312 in West Bengal.
While Kerala has an assembly strength of 140, Assam has 126, Tamil Nadu 234, Puducherry 30 and West Bengal 294.
A total of 14.16 crore voters exercised their franchise in the five states which was 20 per cent of the total 72.8 crore electorate in the country with Tamil Nadu and West Bengal registering “all time record turnouts”.