New Delhi: The counting of votes for the 70 seats in Uttarakhand assembly elections 2017 began at 8am. The first election trends and results are expected within an hour. The assembly polls are being seen as a referendum on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity and his reforms agenda, particulary demonetisation.

Exit poll results on Thursday predicted victory for BJP in Uttarakhand with the saffron party unseating Congress chief minister Harish Rawat. A party needs to win 36 seats to be in comfortable majority.

Track Uttarakhand assembly election results

The Election Commission (EC) has set up 15 counting centres in Uttarakhand. The EC has issued strict guidelines on security arrangements for counting of votes and has prohibited mobile phones inside the counting halls. A three-tier security perimeter has been created at the counting centres.

The election results will also be available on the Election Commission website eci.nic.in.

Track Assembly Election Results 2017

For the incumbent Congress, the election offers it a chance to hang on to one of its few remaining holds in the north, but ever since Uttarakhand was carved out of Uttar Pradesh 16 years ago, no party has won consecutive terms in the state.

The 2017 election has seen defections from both the Congress led by chief minister Harish Rawat and the BJP, its chief rival in the state, with both parties fielding recently turned candidates.

Here are the latest updates on election results and trends from counting of votes in the Uttarakhand assembly elections 2017:

9.22am BJP leading in 44 constituencies, Congress in five and BSP in three. 

9.13am Chief minister Harish Rawat of the Congress is trailing behind the BJP candidates in both the constituencies he is contesting (Hardwar Rural and Kichha). 

9.09am BJP leading in 31 constituencies, Congress in nine and others in two. 

9.01am BJP leads in 12 constituencies, Congress in four. 

8.58am BJP leads in seven constituencies, Congress in three. 

8.57am Chief minister Harish Rawat was trailing behind the BJP’s Yatishwar Anand in the Hardwar Rural constituency. 

8.50am Early trends show the BJP leading in six seats and the Congress in two. 

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