In the battleground state of Uttar Pradesh - India's largest and the most crucial to its politics - the BJP ran a hard-fought campaign to wrest power from Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav's Samajwadi Party (which contested this time in alliance with Rahul Gandhi's Congress). An aggregate of Exit Polls have predicted a win for the BJP.
In Punjab however, all exit polls have predicted a wipeout for the ruling Akali Dal-BJP alliance and contest is seen between the Congress and the Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). Goa, Uttarakhand and Manipur election results will also throw up interesting political insights - critical for a read of the way things are shaping for the 2019 General Elections.
Counting will take place at 157 centres -- Punjab (53), Goa (2), UP (75), Uttarakhand (15) and Manipur (12). By 12 noon, a final picture could emerge on who would be the major players in the five states.
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.
(With inputs from Press Trust of India)