Election results: Resurgent Cong ahead in Telangana, BJP in Raj, MP
The Congress was leading on 46 of 119 assembly constituencies in Telangana on the back of an anti-incumbency sentiment
A resurgent Congress was ahead across Telangana, barring the Hyderabad urban region, and Chhattisgarh while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) appeared set to retain power in Madhya Pradesh and was leading in Rajasthan.
The Congress was leading on 46 of the 119 assembly constituencies in Telangana on the back of an anti-incumbency sentiment. The ruling Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) appeared to be holding on to 11 segments, mostly in the Hyderabad region, after the first round of counting. A party needs 60 seats to form the government in Telangana.
In the 2018 elections, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, the earlier avatar of BRS, bagged 88 seats while the Congress managed to win only 19 seats. The BJP won just one seat.
Chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao was leading in the Gajwel constituency after the completion of the first round of counting.
In Rajasthan, the Opposition BJP was leading on 52 seats and the ruling Congress 34, as per the Election Commission of India website. Bharat Adivasi Party, which is contesting for the first time, was leading on four and others six. TV channels reported the BJP was ahead in 100 seats, the Congress 85, and others 12 seats until 9am.
As per the TV reports, top leaders of both parties including chief minister Ashok Gehlot and his predecessor Vasundhara Raje of the BJP were leading. BJP state chief CP Joshi said this is the beginning of the defeat of injustice.
To be sure, less than five per cent of the votes have been counted so far.
The counting for around 119 million votes polled for 639 assembly seats across Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Rajasthan earlier began on Sunday morning after polling described as a virtual semi-final for the 2024 national elections concluded on November 30. Postal ballots were being counted first and the process was being videographed under heavy security.
The four states send 82 representatives to the Lok Sabha and the election results are expected to impact seat-sharing negotiations within the Opposition’s Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance. The polls in three of the states—Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh—featured bipolar contests between the BJP and the Congress.
The BJP has ruled Madhya Pradesh, the largest of the states to go to the polls, for 18 of the last 20 years. It was in a head-to-head battle with the Congress in the state as the Congress hoped to cash in on anti-incumbency to return to power. A majority of exit polls predicted an intense contest between the BJP and the Congress. Two gave the edge to the Congress and one to the BJP. IndiaToday-AxisMyIndia and Today’s Chanakya-News 24 surveys predicted a sweep for the BJP.
The BJP fielded ministers and parliamentarians in addition to focussing on its welfare outreach. The Congress focussed on anti-incumbency and corruption allegations against Chouhan.
Rajasthan usually votes out the incumbent every five years. Gehlot expected to put up a tough battle on the back of welfare and cash transfer schemes. A majority of exit polls predicted that the BJP was coming back to power. But IndiaToday-AxisMyIndia and Today’s Chanakya-News 24 both predicted that Congress was marginally ahead.
The contest appeared more evenly poised in Chhattisgarh, where the Congress swept the polls in 2018. Five exit polls predicted a close fight with the Congress ahead. Three others forecast that chief minister Bhupesh Baghel was comfortably set for a second straight term. The Congress campaigned on its paddy procurement scheme and welfare programmes.
Every exit poll predicted that the Congress, which was in power at the Centre when Telangana was created in 2014, was set to replace the BRS in the only southern state that went to the polls in this round. BRS has ruled the state since its inception. Four exit polls said the Congress would get a simple majority of its own. Others predicted that it would likely emerge as the single-largest party.
The Congress was decimated in the 2018 polls and ended up around 20 percentage points in vote share behind the BRS. It ran the 2023 campaign under its state unit chief Revanth Reddy who targeted the BRS over corruption and anti-incumbency.
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