Bhubaneswar, May 23 (IANS) The counting of ballots for 21 Lok Sabha seats and 146 Assembly segments in Odisha began amid tight security on Thursday.
The counting is being held in 63 centres across the state.
The Election Commission has received around 1 lakh postal ballots.
Simultaneous elections were held for the 21 Lok Sabha and 146 Assembly seats in four phases that ended on April 29.
While the overall polling percentage in Odisha was recorded 73.08 per cent, the counting will decide the fate of 174 Lok Sabha and 1,127 Assembly candidates.
Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Surendra Kumar said elaborate arrangements have been taken for the smooth conduct of the counting.
Director General of Police (DGP) R.P. Sharma said a total of 172 platoons of Special Armed Force and 69 companies of the Central Armed Force personnel have been deployed in all the 30 districts.
As the Lok Sabha and Assembly polls held simultaneously, the Naveen Patnaik-led Biju Janata Dal government is eyeing to return to power for fifth consecutive term in Odisha.
On the other hand, the Bharatiya Janata Party, which gave a tough fight to the regional party during the campaigning, is also hoping to grab the state.
The Odisha unit of Congress has already stated that it would not come to power on its own even though it would improve its tally against 2014 elections.