New Delhi: The Congress party has taken a significant lead over the incumbent Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, as per the counting of votes underway in five states that went to polls. In Telangana, the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) has emerged a clear favourite to retain the state in a likely landslide win. In another BJP-ruled state of Madhya Pradesh, the Congress and BJP are locked in a fierce face-off with leads constantly fluctuating and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) playing a significant spoiler on many seats. Like Telangana, a clear mandate looks likely in Mizoram where the Mizoram National Front is leading on 29 of the total 40 seats.
In Telangana, the Chandrashekhar Rao-led TRS was leading on more than 85 seats in the 119-member assembly, leaving the Congress-Telugu Desam Party alliance a distant second with leads on 21 seats.
In Chhattisgarh where the BJP is in power since 2003, the Congress was leading on 61 of the total 90 seats and the BJP was a distant second with 21, as per the latest trends. The Election Commission of India website also showed a massive difference of 12% between the Congress (43.8%) and the BJP (31.8%) though this may change when the final results come out. The Congress had taken a lead on 95 seats in Rajasthan and the BJP was leading on 80 in what is turning out to be a closer contest that most opinion polls and exit polls suggested. Rajasthan has 200 seats but 199 went to polls.
The fight has been most intense in the BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh where both the Congress and BJP were leading on more than 100-seats each in the 230-member assembly. At one point around noon, counting of votes projected the BJP and Congress leading on 110 seats each and the BSP and Samajwadi Party leading on 4 and 2 seats, respectively. In Mizoram, the MNF had established leads on 29 seats followed by Congress which was leading on 7 and the BJP on 1 seat.
These elections, the last set of elections before the 2019 general elections, hold high stakes for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress. The BJP is looking to counter anti-incumbency in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. The party has three-term tenures in the state of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. The outcome of the three states is significant as they are facing a direct contest between the BJP and the Congress.
In Telangana, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) is looking to come back to power under the leadership of caretaker chief minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao. The party is facing a contest against the Congress-led grand alliance comprising the Telugu Desam Party, Communist Party of India and Telangana Jana Samithi.
The exit polls on Friday had given an edge to the Congress in Madhya Pradesh, a clear win for Congress in Rajasthan and were divided over the outcome in Chhattisgarh. In Telangana, the polls gave a clear win for the TRS. One exit poll was divided over the result in Mizoram where the Mizo National Front is trying to emerge as a challenger to the Congress.
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