Assembly polls: BJP leads in Delhi, MP, Rajasthan; Congress ahead in Chhattisgarh
New Delhi, December 8, 2013
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) appeared set to sweep Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan and was ahead in Delhi as counting of votes progressed today in four of the five states where crucial Assembly polls were held recently, just months ahead of next year's Lok Sabha elections.
In Delhi, the big story was the impressive show put up by the newly-floated Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) led by bureaucrat-turned-RTI activist-turned politician Arvind Kejriwal in its first electoral outing.
The only comfort that the Congress, the main constituent of the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) at the Centre, could draw was that it was ahead in Chhattisgarh.
In the fifth state, Mizoram, counting of votes will be taken up tomorrow.
Polling was conducted in Chhattisgarh in two phases on November 11 and 19, while Madhya Pradesh and Mizoram went to the polls on November 25, Rajasthan on December 1 and Delhi on December 4.
Polling in one of the 200 constituencies in Rajasthan -- Churu -- has been adjourned to December 13 following the death of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) candidate.
In Delhi, where counting trends were available for 68 of the 70 seats, the BJP was leading in 32, AAP in as many as 24 and the Congress in just 10. Others were leading in two seats.
In Rajasthan, trends available for 161 of the 199 seats for which polling was held on December 1, the BJP appeared headed for a spectacular win, leading in 121 seats, while the Congress was ahead in only 20.
The BJP was ahead in 102 of the 156 seats for which counting trends were available in the elections to the 230-member Madhya Pradesh legislative assemby. The Congress was leading in 44 and others in 10.
In Chhattisgarh, counting trends were available for 47 of the 90 seats, with the Congress ahead in 27 and the BJP in 20.
The term of the Assembly is due to expire on January 4, 2014 in Chhattisgarh, December 12 this year in Madhya Pradesh, December 15 in Mizoram, December 31 in Rajasthan and December 17 in Delhi.
Bye-elections to the Surat West Assembly constituency of Gujarat and Yercaud constituency of Tamil Nadu Assembly were also held on December 4.
The Election Commission normally tries to hold elections to legislative assemblies of states whose terms expire around the same time, together.
The BJP is ruling Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh for the past 10 years, while the Congress had wrested Rajasthan from it in the last elections. In Delhi, the Congress has been in power for the past 15 years.
The Chhattisgarh Assembly has 90 seats (including 10 reserved for Scheduled Castes and 29 for Scheduled Tribes). The number of seats is 230 in Madhya Pradesh (35 SC, 47 ST), 40 in Mizoram (39 ST), 200 in Rajasthan (34 SC, 25 ST) and 70 in Delhi (12 SC).
For the first time, electors who did not want to vote for any of the candidates in the fray in their constituency, could exercise the "None of the above" (NOTA) option on the electronic voting machines (EVMs).
The Assembly elections in these five States are being seen as a sort of "semi-final" before the 2014 Lok Sabha polls and have, thus, aroused a lot of interest among the people.
The voter turnout was quite high, with Delhi recording 65% voting, while it was 81% in Mizoram, 74% in Rajasthan and more than 70% in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.