21
Thursday
March 2019
9:13 PM IST
News Headlines
Soldier killed as Pak army violates ceasefire along LoC in Rajouri        SAFF Women C''ship: Indian women thrash Bangladesh 4-0, will face Nepal in finals        Theresa May seeks Brexit Day delay, EU demands new vote        Nirav Modi arrested in UK; court remands him in custody till March 29        Mayawati won''t contest LS polls, but says still possible to become PM        Samjhauta blast case: Swami Aseemanand, 3 others acquitted        Not playing is not the solution: Ganguly on workload management        IPL schedule: KKR gets relief, to play all home matches at Eden        Rupee pauses after 6-day rally, slips 43 paise against US dollar        Jaitley dubs '108 purported economists' as compulsive contrarians        Sack 3 ministers in Imran Khan's govt for supporting banned outfits: Bilawal        Pak court mulls options for recording Musharraf's statement in treason case        HC takes note of 'dearth' of special education teachers in Delhi schools        Cong-JDS to campaign jointly, vow to reduce BJP to single        Mamata lashes out at BJP for questioning her religion        Jet pilots threaten to stop flying from Apr 1, set Mar 31 deadline on bailout, salaries        Congress will restore special category status to Arunachal and other NE states: Rahul        We think about the future: Sasi Tharoor        No riots in UP since BJP came to power: Adityanath        Congress finally picks Muraleedharan for Vadakara        
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Kerala News
Cong leads in R'than, Chhattisgarh and MP; TRS races ahead in Telangana, MNF in Mizoram
 
The Congress was leading in the BJP-ruled states of Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh and was locked in a close fight in Madhya Pradesh while the TRS forged ahead in Telangana and the MNF in Mizoram, trends indicated on Tuesday as votes for elections in the five states were counted.

The Rahul Gandhi-led party became the focal point of attention as the morning progressed and trends showed it could possibly steal a march over rival BJP in the Hindi heartland states of Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. In Madhya Pradesh, the picture changed minute to minute, in an electoral exercise being seen as a semi-final to 2019.

"Trends show Congress marching ahead to victory in Rajasthan, MP and Chhattisgarh. We are confident the trend will continue across the country," Congress leader Sachin Pilot said in Jaipur.

With election trends showing reverses for the BJP, senior BJP leader and Home Minister Rajnath Singh said the polls were fought on the basis of the performance of state governments, rejecting the notion that the results would be a reflection of the Modi government.

Talking to reporters outside Parliament, he also offered his congratulations to all the winning parties and candidates.

In the desert state of Rajasthan, t he Congress was leading in 97 seats, three short of the magic number of 100, and the BJP in 75, according to the website of the Rajasthan chief electoral officer. Independents were leading in 12 seats.

Voters in the state, it appeared, stuck to the "revolving door" trend of choosing the BJP and the Congress alternately.

Though Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje was ahead of the Congress' Manvendra Singh in her constituency Jhalrapatan, about 12 of her ministers, including Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria and Transport Minister Yoonus Khan, were trailing, according to the state election commission's website.

PCC president Pilot was leading in Tonk and Congress' former chief minister Ashok Gehlot in Sardarpura. The choice of who would be chief minister if the Congress comes to power had analysts playing the guessing game.

The two leaders told reporters that a call on which of them will be chief minister will be taken by the MLAs and party president Rahul Gandhi, for whom this is being seen as a make or break electoral exercise.

In Chhattisgarh, the Congress was poised to oust the BJP which was seeking a fourth straight term in office under the leadership of Chief Minister Raman Singh. According to the Election Commission, the Congress was ahead in 54 of the 90 seats, leaving the BJP trailing with 17 seats.

The Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (J) of former chief minister Ajit Jogi was ahead in four seats.

"The shocker if at all is Chhattisgarh," BJP leader Shaina NC said.

Jogi said he was happy with the trends and people wanted to oust the Raman Singh government.

Neighbouring Madhya Pradesh was a tantalising see-saw battle between the BJP, seeking a fourth term in power, and the Congress, desperate to stage a comeback in the central Indian state that was once its stronghold.

The BJP was leading in 108 seats and the Congress in 112 in trends available for 227 of the 230 seats. The Bahujan Samaj Party was ahead in two seats, according to Election Commission figures.

"We are going to get a full majority. There is no question about it," Congress leader Kamal Nath told reporters.

In southern Telangana, trends indicated a clear landslide verdict for the Telangana Rashtra Samiti with leads in 90 seats. The Congress was way behind with leads in 16 seats, according to the Election Commission. The BJP was ahead in one and the TDP in two.

In the northeast state of Mizoram, the Mizoram National Front was ahead in 20 seats, the Congress in five and the BJP in one. Chief

Minister Lal Thanhawla was defeated by MNF's T J Lalnuntluanga by 856 votes in Champhai South, Election Commission sources said.

Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee said people are "always the man of the match in a democracy" and the semi-final had proved that the BJP was "nowhere in these states".


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