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BJP forges ahead in MP and Rajasthan, has edge in Chhattisgarh; Cong leads in Telangana

NEW DELHI: The BJP was ahead in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh while the Congress was leading in Telangana, according to the Election Commission as votes were counted on Sunday for assembly polls that set the stage for the 2024 Lok Sabha battle.

Elections in the four states have largely been a bipolar contest - the BJP and the Congress going head to head in Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh and between the BRS and the Congress in southern Telangana.

The BJP looked set for a fifth consecutive term in power in Madhya Pradesh with leads in 143 seats and the Congress trailing far behind at 59 in the 230-member assembly.

The BJP was also way ahead of the ruling Congress in Rajasthan, which has traditionally voted alternately for the two parties. While the saffron party was ahead in 101 seats, over the halfway mark, the Congress had leads in 72. Voting was held in 199 seats as polling in one was put off due to the death of a candidate.

Trends showed a close contest in Congress-ruled Chhattisgarh with the party at 28 and the BJP with leads in 34 seats.

The Congress, looking desperately for political revival, could snatch power from the K Chandrashekhar Rao-led Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) that was hoping for a hat-trick in Telangana. The Congress was ahead in 51 seats, leaving the BRS with leads in 29 seats in the 90-member house.

Counting began at 8 am amid tight security and huge anticipation in the four states. Votes in the fifth state that went to the polls, Mizoram, will be counted on Monday.

A three-tier security arrangement has been put in place and only people holding valid passes will be allowed to enter the counting centres, election officials said.


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