The Election Commission is gearing up for counting on Thursday in 14 Lok Sabha seats of Jharkhand as all political parties in the state have claimed victory in the polls.

“The counting will begin on Thursday morning at 8 a.m. at 14 counting centres of the state for the 14 Lok Sabha seats. Separate counting halls as per Assembly constituencies falling in the respective Lok Sabha seats have been set up at counting centres,” L. Khiyante, Jharkhand Chief Election Officer (CEO), told reporters.

He said: “The strongrooms will be opened in the presence of the observers and candidates’ agents and videography will also be done. The results may be delayed by four to five hours as VVPAT counting will be done as per the commission’s direction”.

Voting took place in last four phases in Jharkhand. The election was peaceful and no untoward incident was reported.

The BJP had won 12 of the 14 Lok Sabha seats in 2014.

The fate of three former Chief Ministers – Shibu Soren, Arjun Munda and Babulal Marandi and two central ministers – Jayant Sinha and Sudarsan Bhagat – will be decided on Thursday.

The BJP has claimed victory in all 14 seats. The party has fought on 13 seats and its ally, All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) has fought on one seat.

“BJP will win all 14 seats in the state,” claimed Chief Minister Raghubar Das.

Leader of the Opposition and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha Executive President Hemant Soren has termed the exit polls as “TV serials who have their own shops to run”.

He claimed the JMM would win all seats on which it fought. The party contested four seats in alliance with the Congress and other parties.

The Congress which fought on seven Lok Sabha seats is confident that the opposition Grand Alliance would sweep the Lok Sabha polls.

“Exit polls have given our alliance six to eight seats but we will win more than 12 seats,” Congress spokesperson Kishore Sahdeo told IANS.