Counting of votes polled on April 18 for the lone Lok Sabha seat in the Union Territory of Puducherry and also the bypoll to Thattanchavady Assembly segment began amid tight security at 8 am Thursday.
Counting of votes polled in the outlying regions of Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam also began simultaneously, an official source said.
There are 18 contestants trying their luck in the Parliamentary election while there are eight candidates in the fray for the Thattanchavady Assembly segment.
Former Speaker and senior Congress leader V Vaithilingam is locking horns with the AINRC candidate and doctor-turned-politician K Narayanasamy in the LS poll.
All the 18 aspirants are fresh faces.
Similarly all the eight contestants in the Assembly bypoll who are testing their political fortunes are also greenhorns in the poll battle here.
The main contestants are P Nedunchezian (AINRC) and K Venkatesan of the DMK which is an ally of the ruling Congress.
The bypoll became necessary following disqualification of the sitting AINRC legislator Ashok Anand after he was convicted by a local CBI court in a disproportionate assets case in October last year.
The AINRC is seeking to retain both the parliamentary seat and Thattanchavady Assembly segment.