Election Results 2023: In what is being seen as the semi-final contest ahead of the national elections next year, votes are being counted today for assembly polls to four states - Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana and Chhattisgarh.
The Congress, which is in power in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, and the BJP, which is ruling Madhya Pradesh, are locked in a straight fight in these three states, while K Chandrashekar Rao-led BRS is hoping for a hat-trick in Telangana. Most exit polls have the BJP winning Madhya Pradesh and have also given them an edge in Rajasthan. In Telangana and Chhattisgarh, exit polls have predicted a win for the Congress.
In the last six assembly elections, Rajasthan has voted the BJP and the Congress alternately. The campaigning has been intense on both sides. The BJP had pulled all stops in line with its established election template, deploying senior ministers and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Congress had followed a grassroots campaign with frequent appearances by its central leaders.
Madhya Pradesh has voted for the BJP in three of the last four elections and four of nine exit polls have it returning to power, each by large margins. Three of those four give it more than 139 of the Assembly's 230 seats.
In Telangana, anti-incumbency has been building up against the ruling BRS and it was banking on welfare measures, including the Rythu Bandhu and Rythu Bima schemes for farmers, Dalit and BC Bandhu schemes for the deprived classes and the Gruha Lakshmi scheme to give housing to the poor. Of the state's 119 seats, the poll of polls predicted that the Congress will win 62 seats, two more than the majority, and the BRS may be reduced to 44 seats.