Election results 2018: The polls in the 5 states are seen as a semi-final before the 2019 elections
New Delhi: The Congress is leading in two BJP-ruled heartland states -- Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh - in the latest round of assembly elections, billed as the semi-final before next year's national polls. In Madhya Pradesh, it is locked in a tough fight with the BJP. The party is also trailing in Mizoram, a state it rules. The TRS is set retain Telangana with a huge mandate. For the BJP, the results in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh are the final test of its policies before it seeks another term at the centre. A good performance will boost the Congress's standing in a possible opposition front to take on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Here are the 10 latest developments on the election results:
- Celebrations started at the Congress headquarters in Delhi as the party established a big lead over the BJP in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.But as the results see-sawed in Madhya Pradesh without touching the halfway mark of 116, the party dialled Mayawati for a Plan B, sources said. Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party is leading in four seats in Madhya Pradesh.
- In Rajasthan, as the gap with the BJP slowly shrunk, state Congress in-charge Sachin Pilot, said, "Even though we are certain we will have the numbers by ourselves, I would like to reach out to other like-minded parties and leaders to form the government ".
- The BJP claimed any negative result will not affect the party's chances in the national elections. "Any kind of negative result will not impact the 2019 election," BJP's Shaina NC told NDTV.
- "Congratulations to the Congress but the biggest takeaway from the election is the fight we have given. From Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who has been in power for 15 years, to Vasundhara Raje who was written off," Shaina NC said. The only shocker, she said, was Chhattisgarh, due to the good performance of Raman Singh's government.
- Madhya Pradesh, where Shivraj Singh Chouhan is seeking a fourth term, is the biggest prize in these polls. If it wins, the Congress has to face the prickly issue of who will lead the government. Its three top leaders, Kamal Nath, Digvijaya Singh and Jyotiraditya Scindia, kept a truce for the campaign.
- In Maoist-hit Chhattisgarh, the Congress has established big lead over the BJP. The election was three-way, with the Ajit Jogi-Mayawati-led alliance forming the third angle. The alliance is leading in 8 seats.
- Celebrations started at the Congress office in Jaipur as the party looked set to win the state. Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje had hoped to defeat the trend of the incumbent party being voted out. Her party has now narrowed the gap with the Congress.
- In Rajasthan, the Congress is yet to face the tough question it has avoided so far -- who will be chief minister, Sachin Pilot, part of Rahul Gandhi's young brigade, or two-time chief minister and party veteran Ashok Gehlot.
- Telangana has had a head-start on the drama even before the results. State BJP leader K Laxman, whose party is predicted to win only five of the state's 119 seats, offered to partner KCR, as Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao is popularly known. Mr Rao's party, predicted by most polls to retain power, has turned down the offer. The BJP leader was severely reprimanded by his party for the unauthorised offer.
- In Mizoram, the Mizo National Front is leading in 26 of the state's 40 seats. The Congress, which ruled the state, is ahead in just five seats.
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