New Delhi: The Congress party on Monday put up an impressive show in assembly elections in five states heading for victory in three -- Rajasthan, Delhi and Mizoram -- and is involved in a neck and neck race with BJP in Chhattisgarh.
The only consolation for BJP appears to be coming from Madhya Pradesh where it has established a clear lead over Congress on the way to retaining power. In the 230-member assembly, BJP was ahead in 125 seats and Congress in 67. Others account for 30.
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The shocker for BJP came in Rajasthan where it is losing power to Congress. The saffron party under Vasundhara Raje is trailing with 79 seats against Congress’ 91. Others account for 28 seats.
In Delhi, the Congress under Sheila Dikshit is poised to score a record hat trick, shaking off the fierce saffron challenge. The ruling party has won three seats and was leading in 35 others while BJP was ahead in 27 seats in the 70-member Assembly.
In Mizoram, Congress has already won ten of the 40 seats and was leading in six others while the ruling MNF was ahead in three seats and UDA in one.
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The race was tight in Chhattisgarh where Congress parties were ahead in 42 seats each in the 90 member assembly. The remaining seats Congress ally NCP was ahead in two.
Congress set to form Govt
Mukesh Sharma of Congress was the first to emerge victorious in the Delhi Assembly elections by defeating his nearest rival BJP’s Pawan Sharma in Uttam Nagar by a margin of 7,187 votes.
Sharma, who is entering the Assembly for the fourth consecutive term, has shifted to Uttam Nagar constituency following delimitation.
Another two-time MLA who won this time was Mahabal Mishra. He defeated his nearest BJP rival Pradyuman Rajput by 13,981 votes.
In Jungpura, two-time MLA Tarvinder Singh Marwah defeated Akali Dal’s Manjinder Singh Sirsa by a margin of 13,956 votes.
Ministers A K Walia (Laxmi Nagar), Arvinder Singh Lovely (Gandhi Nagar) and Yoganand Shastri (Mehrauli) were ahead in the race.
Ministers Harun Yusuf (Ballimaran) and Raj Kumar Chouhan (Mangolpuri), who were initially trailing, were now ahead in the race.
BJP leads in 52 seats, Congress in 33
The ruling BJP was on Monday on course to retaining power in Chhattisgarh opening a sizable gap in the race with its main rival Congress.
Needing 46 seats to secure a simple majority in the 90-member state assembly, BJP led in 52 seats pushing to distant second place Congress which was ahead in 33 seats, as per the official website of the state election commission.
Others, including CPI, BSP, NCP, were ahead in four seats.
If the trends are translated into final results, BJP is expected to retain almost the same number of seats --50--it had won in the previous assembly polls in 2003. Congress had won 37 seats last time.
The BJP forged ahead in the race after being initially locked in a neck and neck race with the Congress.
In the 2003 assembly election, Congress loss was attributed mainly to the NCP factor which led by Vidyacharan Shukla had secured more than 7% votes.
BJP appears set to retain power in MP
The BJP appeared on its way to retain power in Madhya Pradesh on Monday having established leads in 125 of the 230 seats in the state assembly as per the latest available trends.
The Congress was trailing behind with a lead in 67 seats while others were ahead in 23 constituencies.
Factors like anti-incumbency, intra-party rivalry and challenge posed by former party leader Uma Bharti seemed to have had no impact on the ruling BJP, according to party leaders.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan was ahead in Budhni.
Uma Bharti’s Bharatiya Janshakti Party was trailing in all the 216 seats it contested, including in Tikamgarh where Bharti is in fray.
State Congress chief Jamuna Devi was leading in Kukshi constituency.
The state had recorded a 60% turnout of voters on 27 November, just a day after the Mumbai terror attacks.
Cong ahead in 105 seats in Rajasthan
The Congress party was on Monday leading in 105 seats while the BJP was ahead in 72 in trends available for all the 200 constituencies in Rajasthan.
Mayawati-led BSP was ahead in 6 seats, while CPI(M) was leading in two and JD(U) and SP in one each. Others were leading in 13 seats.
AICC general secretary Ashok Gehlot, who spearheaded the party’s campaign in the state, and Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje were leading from their Sardarpura and Jhalrapatan constituencies respectively.
Rajasthan Assembly Speaker Sumitra Singh was trailing behind the Congress candidate in Mandawa constituency.
Congress wins 8 seats
Riding on anti-incumbency wave, the Congress party in Mizoram was surging ahead of the ruling MNF. In the results declared so far, the Congress has won eight seats in the 40-member state assembly.
Former chief minister and state Congress chief Lal Thanhawla leads the list of the winners by bagging the South Tuipui seat in Lunglei district and Serchhip seat in Serchhip district, his home turf.
Other winners include Lalrinmawia in Hachhek seat in Mamit district, R Lalzirliana in Tawi seat, R L Pianmawia in Tuivawl both Aizawl district and P C Lalthanliana in Lunglei North. The Congress is also leading with a small margin in the prestigious Aizawl North-II seat, Tuirial and Kolasib seats.