Congress ahead in three states, BJP in two (Lead)December 8th, 2008 - 12:07 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Dec 8 (IANS) The Congress seemed to be moving towards victory in Rajasthan and Mizoram and within handshaking distance of power in Delhi while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had forged ahead in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh as officials Monday counted votes cast in assembly elections.BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said two hours after counting of the millions of votes started at 8 a.m. that his party was “leading handsomely” in Madhya Pradesh and “facing problems” in Rajasthan, India’s largest state.
He added that there was a see saw for power in Delhi, the national capital which the Congress has ruled for 10 long years and where Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit appeared to be bucking the widespread belief that her party might be voted out.
“We are going to analyse these results,” a sombre Javadekar said. Until Sunday, most BJP leaders had been confident of retaining office in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh and snatching power in Delhi. A few had also predicted a BJP win in Rajasthan.
BJP candidates had forged ahead in 102 of the 230 seats in Madhya Pradesh, leaving the Congress way behind in 54. In contrast, the Congress was on the winning track in 90 of the 200 seats in Rajasthan, the ruling BJP ahead in 65 constituencies.
The Congress was leading in 10 seats and the ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) in two in Mizoram, which has a 40-member assembly.
The first three election results went to the Congress - all in Mizoram.
The Congress had forged ahead in 35 of the 70 seats in Delhi, stunning the BJP, which was confident of ousting the ruling party. BJP candidates were ahead in 28 seats.
Congress leader M. Veerappa Moily credited Dikshit for the Congress showing in Delhi, saying she had done a “marvellous” job leading the party to the elections despite many constraints.
In the battle for the 90-member Chhattisgarh assembly, candidates of the ruling BJP were in the front in 40 seats, compared to 37 of the Congress.
The five states went to the polls from Nov 14 to Dec 4. About 66 percent of the 98 million votes exercised their franchise in the five states from Nov 14 to Dec 4.