After a wait of more than a month, finally we will get to know the results of the 16th Lok Sabha Elections. All the exit polls, curiosity and imaginations will be put to rest on 16th of May when the counting will be held at 989 counting centres likely to be completed by 5 pm and the trends will be out by 11 am. By Friday afternoon, we will be able to get a picture of who is leading in the race. The counting of votes will begin at 8 am when the postal ballots will be counted first. According to the guidelines of the EC, half-and-hour after the postal ballots are counted, the process of counting votes from the EVMs will begin.
Nearly 8000 candidates, including top leaders like Narendra Modi, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Arvind Kejriwal were in the fray, in the largest-ever electoral exercise held in the Indian history. These were the first Lok Sabha elections when the option of ‘none of the above’ or NOTA was introduced on the EVMs following Supreme Court directions to ensure secrecy of voters who use this option. Before NOTA button was installed on EVMs, voters had to fill up form 49 ‘O’ at the polling station which compromised their identity.
The Election was held in nine phases across the country for 543 Lok Sabha constituencies. There were many high and low points during the election. Some incidents of violence also happened in this general election including killings in Assam, boycott and sarpanch killings in Kashmir and other poll related minor incidents of violence. Lok Sabha elections 2014 witnessed the highest-ever turnout with 66.38 per cent of an estimated 814 million voters exercising their franchise — the highest ever in the history of general elections. Once the results are declared, the names of the winning candidates will find mention in the gazette to be issued by the Election Commission. The gazette notification will initiate the process to form the next Lok Sabha.
While traditionally the general elections have been between two main national parties, Congress and BJP, this time the trend was a little different with the coming of Aam Aadmi Party on the front. The political campaigning in this election also saw many new things like usage of PR, social media besides other innovative things. BJP with its PM candidate Narendra Modi campaigned rigorously almost in every part of the country followed by Congress, AAP and other regional parties. However, the fight was largely between Congress and BJP with Modi, Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi attacking each other almost at every public speech and rally. Two constituencies were in the limelight of the media because of it candidates, Varanasi and Amethi from where Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi were fighting the elections.
There were many incidents where the Election Commission had to intervene to put things right. Many FIRs were registered against big faces of the country like Narendra Modi, Azam Khan, Beni Prasad Verma, Giriraj Singh, Praveen Tagodia and others.
The pre poll opinions and the exit polls also have been showing that NDA will get a majority and will be able to form the government at the centre with Narendra Modi being the next Prime Minister of India. But it will be after the counting only when the results will be out putting all the speculations aside and giving us the final verdict.