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DATE=10/6/1999 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=INDIA VOTE COUNT (L) NUMBER=2-254707 BYLINE=JIM TEEPLE DATELINE=NEW DELHI CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: India's Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee has won re-election to parliament and his 22-party ruling coalition has taken an early lead in vote counting from India's mammoth month-long election. Partial returns also indicate India's Congress Party will gain seats. Correspondent Jim Teeple reports about 10-percent of India's voters cast ballots electronically and while those results will be known soon, a full count will take at least another 24- hours. Text: Atal Behari Vajpayee coasted to victory in his constituency in Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh state. The region sends 85 members to Parliament -- more than any other state. Mr. Vajpayee's Bharatiya Janata Party swept all seven parliamentary seats in greater New Delhi. In one New Delhi constituency, the B-J-P faced a stiff challenge from Congress Party candidate, Manmohan Singh, a former Finance Minister and the architect of India's economic reforms in the early 1990's. Prime Minister Vajpayee lost a confidence measure by one vote six-months ago in Parliament, forcing the elections. Thousands of police and paramilitary forces are guarding about 13-hundred counting centers in more than 500-districts. Ballots are dumped out of large metal containers onto long tables where they are counted by hand. Every ballot is opened and the result marked on a chart. Representatives of political parties sit near the tables watching every move. For the first time, India is making wide-use of locally made electronic voting machines. India's Election Commissioner, M-S Gill, says the new machines have sped up the voting and counting process. // GILL ACTUALITY // They are very cheap, only several-thousand rupees ($100). They run on batteries and not on power, so there is no worry about power failure. They are like little laptop computers, you do not go to a polling station with a truck and big boxes, and gunny bags and all the rest of the nonsense we used to do. // END ACT // But the voting machines are only being used in 50- districts, and only about 10-percent of the ballots cast were registered electronically. Election officials say most Indians live in rural areas where electronic voting was not used, so the quick early electronic vote tallies should not be taken as a final result. India's opposition Congress Party is hoping to gain enough seats to make it the largest party in Parliament. Early trends on Wednesday indicate The Congress Party is picking up seats. // OPT // A senior leader of the Congress Party, Parliament Member Madhavrao Scindia, says early results show his party is picking up a greater percentage of the vote than expected. // SCINDIA ACTUALITY // The point of optimism for the Congress Party is the rise in vote percentage of seven-percent. This is very significant. // END ACT // END OPT // While early results show the Congress Party is picking up seats, trends also show the B-J-P-led coalition will have enough seats to form a government by wining a narrow majority in India's 545-seat lower house of Parliament. // OPT // A senior B-J-P leader, Pramod Mahajan, says his party has gained seats in every recent election and even if coalition partners in the National Democratic Alliance lose seats this year, the coalition is optimistic about its future. // MAHAJAN ACTUALITY // Losing half a dozen seats does not make the N-D- A's structure something totally new. But definitely in the last successive four elections, we are gaining from strength to strength. // END ACT // END OPT // Election officials say about 55-percent of India's more than 600-million voters cast ballots in staggered voting which lasted five weeks. (SIGNED) NEB/JLT/RAE 06-Oct-1999 07:46 AM EDT (06-Oct-1999 1146 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .