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    Fearing Violence India Issues Countrywide Alert on Vote Counting Day

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    Exit polls aired by several media groups have predicted an outright majority for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's National Democratic Alliance in the 7-phase polling for national elections that ended on 19 May. The opposition parties have dismissed the surveys calling them fake.

    New Delhi (Sputnik): India's Ministry of Home Affairs has issued countrywide alert to police and other officials for vote counting day, 23 May, fearing violence may erupt at sensitive locations.

    The counting of votes will start at 8:00 am local time.

    READ MORE: Indian Election Commission Rebuffs Voting Machine Tampering Allegations

    All states throughout the country have been asked to take adequate measures for security of strong rooms and venues where vote counting will take place.

    The home ministry has issued the alert in view of several statements from various political groups, fearing violence and disruptions during the day.

    On Tuesday, Upendra Kushwaha, a former minister who parted ways with the Narendra Modi cabinet on the issue of reservations for various communities, warned of bloodshed if the government "tries to steal the peoples' votes".

    He said this amid media reports coming from various locations across the country about the suspicious movement of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs). "As one carries arms to protect his life, the voters should do the same to protect their votes", Kushwaha stated.

    READ MORE: Exit Polls Keep Netizens Busy Debating Indian PM's Likely Re-Election

    A similar kind of appeal was also made by opposition leaders in Uttar Pradesh, India's most populous state. In several areas, supporters of opposition parties have circulated mobile phone clips alleging that some machines were being brought into the counting stations, days after the polling for was over. The allegations have been categorically denied by the Election Commission of India.

    On Sunday, the exit polls suggested Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are likely to win India's General Elections. Four exit polls predict that the BJP-led alliance will get between 280 and 315 seats, far more than the main opposition Congress Party is expected to win.


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