Modi magic propels BJP to early leads in Uttar Pradesh, Kejriwal’s AAP fadesUpdated: Mar 11, 2017 15:05 IST
The BJP appeared to ride Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity to surge ahead of its rivals in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, early trends from counting of votes for five state assemblies showed on Saturday.
The assembly elections are seen as a test of whether the BJP can extend its domination of national politics. At stake are also the survival of the Congress and relevance for a clutch of regional outfits, especially the Aam Aadmi Party.
After two hours of counting, the BJP was cruising ahead in about 270 of 390 seats for which trends were available, with the Samajwadi Party-Combine leading in just 77 seats. The Bahujan Samaj Party was at the third position with leads in 30 seats. The halfway mark in the state’s 403-member house is 202.
The polls were also seen as an acid test of AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal’s ability to take his party beyond the national capital, where it won power in 2015.
Early trends did not bring happy news for him. The party was trailing behind the Congress and the ruling Akali Dal-BJP combine in Punjab. The Congress was leading 61 of 115 seats for which trends were available. The AAP was leading in 23 seats and the ruling alliance in 30.