Exit polls have shown that Congress has an edge over BJP in Uttarakhand. Will CM BC Khanduri prove poll pundits wrong?
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the opposition Congress on Tuesday were locked in a nail-biting seesaw battle as Uttarakhand appeared poised for a hung assembly amid no clear winner in the 70-member house.
According to the vote counting trends on Tuesday evening, the BJP and the Congress were evenly poised. The leads, however, continuously swung between the two parties.
The ruling party had won 17 seats, including Sitarganj and Nanakmatta seats, and was leading in another 15.
The Congress had bagged 15, including Haldwani and Almora constituencies, and was leading in 17 more.
Chief minister BC Khanduri of the BJP lost to SS Negi of the Congress in Kotdwar.
BJP state president Bishan Singh Chufal won from Didihaat defeating his closest rival Rewati Joshi of the Congress by over 10,600 votes.
The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) which may hold the key to government formation in the hill state has won two seats and was leading in one more.
Uttarakhand Kranti Dal-Panwar was leading in one. Others were leading in five seats.
Both the Congress and the BJP expressed confidence they would form the new government.
Congress leader and minister of state for parliamentary affairs Harish Rawat said his party will form the government in the hill state.
"The Congress will form the government in Uttarakhand, that I am confident," said Rawat.
The BJP also expressed confidence of retaining power in the state.
"We are coming back to power in Uttarakhand," BJP MP from the state, Anurag Thakur told a TV channel.
"There are only 70 seats, one or two seats will make a big difference. We will be in position to form a government in Uttarakhand," Thakur said.