Chandigarh: The Congress continues its victory march in Punjab, according to the latest inputs from the election commission.
The trends avaliable at 02:00 pm showed the Congress ahead in 76 of the total 117 seats while the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), contesting the election for the first time, is leading in 24 seats.
The ruling Akali Dal+BJP combine is leading in 17 seats.
According to the latest information, Congree Chief Ministerial candidate Captain Amrindar Singh has lost the election in Lambi. He has howeve won from the Patiala assembly seat.
Trends also showed that Navjot Singh Sidhu, who derserted BJP and joined Congress before the elections, is leading in Amritsar.
AAP MP Bhagwant Mann, who contested the state election, is trailing from Jalabad.
10:45 AM Trends available at 10:45 am showed that the Congress is heading for a landslide victory in Punjab. The party is leading in 66 of the total 117 seats.
The trends also showed AAP, contesting the election for the first time, leading in 25 seats and Akali Dal/BJP ahead in 25 assembly seats.
10:00 AM Trends available at 10:00 am showed that the Congress is heading for a landslide victory in Punjab by leading in 23 of the total 117 seats.
The trends also showed AAP, contesting the election for the first time, leading in 14 seats and Akali Dal/BJP ahead in 06 assembly seats.
08:30 AM Trends available at 08:30 am showed that the Congress is heading for a landslide victory in Punjab by leading in 15 of the total 117 seats.
The trends also showed AAP leading in 03 seats and Akali Dal/BJP ahead in 02 assembly seats.
08:00 AM Counting of votes in Punjab, where Akali Dali and Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) are ruling since last ten years, started today at 08:00 am.
As per the Election Commission guidelines, the process began with counting of postal votes.
The trends and results will soon start coming as the first round of voting is expected to be completed by about 08:30 am.
07: 15 AM Counting of votes for the high- stakes assembly elections in the border state of Punjab and four other Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur states will start today i.e. Saturday March 11, 2017 exactly at 08:00 am.
According to the election commission, the process in Punjab will begin with counting of postal votes and trends are expected to be available by 09:00 am. By 12 noon, a final picture could emerge on who would be the major players in the state.
The counting of vote will take place at 53 centres in Punjab. The entire process will be completed by late evening, the state election commission said.
According to Election Commission guidelines, half-an-hour after the postal ballots are counted, the process of counting of EVM votes begins.
The 'ballot unit' is switched on in the presence of senior poll officials and counting agents of candidates and the result command keyed in to get the results per machine.
Where a paper trail audit or 'voter-verified paper audit trail' (VVPAT) has been used, the counting agent can call for a count of the paper slips in the drop box attached to the voting machine, but a final count is taken by the returning officer.
Once the results are declared, the names of the winning candidates will find mention in the gazette. The gazette notification will initiate the process to form the next legislative assemblies in the states.
Exit polls by various news channel released on Thursday had predicted a close contest between the Congress party and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
The pollsters agreed on the defeat of Akali Dal and BJP - the two parties ruling the state since last ten years.
The Punjab election is important for Congress and AAP both.
The AAP of Arvind Kejriwal, contesting the Punjab Assembly Election for the first time, had surprised everyone by winning 04 seats in the 2014 General Elections. The party later on also sweeped the Delhi state elections. It is trying all its effort to win the Punjab election.
The Congress led by Captain Amrindar Singh is using all its power to win Punjab assembly election where it was a strong force once. A win in Punjab will also boost the morale of Rahul Gandhi who campaigned with the state leaders in the absence of party cheif Sonia Gandhi.
In 2012 elections, Akali Dal and BJP combine had won 68 of the total 117 seats and retained the power in Punjab. Congress had won 46 seats while 03 seats went to others.