Uttar Pradesh defeat hurts, need hard decisions: Congress

While the Congress said the "loss" in the Hindi heartland it once ruled will be assessed, it defended party leadership saying it should not be judged over a short span.

Published: 11th March 2017 01:06 PM  |   Last Updated: 11th March 2017 01:40 PM   |  A+A-

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) supporters celebrate as their party leads in state elections in Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh states in New Delhi, India, Saturday, March 11, 2017. | AP


NEW DELHI: The BJP was today on course for a landslide win in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand and the Congress surged ahead in Punjab and the two parties were set to regain power while they were locked in a close contest in Goa and Manipur.

According to trends and results available after five hours of counting of votes in the Assembly polls in the five states, the BJP, which did not have a chief ministerial face in UP, was ahead in 296 out of 403 constituencies in a stunning showing which party leaders credited to a 'Modi wave'.

The BJP together with its allies Apna Dal (Soneylal Patel) and Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP) were leading in 305 seats.

On the next chief minister in the state, BJP leaders said the decision will be taken by the BJP parliamentary board and the legislature party in the state soon.

The BJP, which had just 47 seats in the outgoing Assembly, garnered 40 per cent vote share, in the most riveting contest seen as a game changer and a virtual referendum on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's popularity and demonetisation. The party also went to the elections without fielding any Muslim candidate.

The nascent SP-Congress coalition was ahead in 64 seats while Mayawati's BSP was a distant third leading only in 20 places. The SP, whose campaign was spearheaded by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on development agenda, led in 55 seats.

"This is a big victory. BJP has reached new heights in Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh and changed the political picture of the country," Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said amid scenes of jubilation at party offices in UP with one party leader saying Holi has come a day early.

The previous best showing by BJP in UP was in 1991, at the height of Ram Janam Bhoomi movement, when it got a majority on its own winning 221 seats out of 425 in an undivided state.

Gayatri Prajapati, who is absconding after the UP police booked him in an alleged gangrape case and attempt to rape a minor, was trailing in Amethi, where Garima Singh (BJP), the first wife of Congress leader Sanjay Sinh, was leading.

Ameeta Singh (Cong), the current wife of Sanjay Sinh was also trailing.

In Noida, Home Minister Rajnath Singh's son Pankaj Singh was leading by an impressive margin.

The trends also showed BJP's Sangeet Singh Som, who was booked in the Muzaffarnagar riots, was leading in Sardhana.

In Uttarakhand, the BJP put up a splendid show leading in 56 seats in the 70-member Assembly while Congress was way behind ahead in only 10 seats. Chief Minister Harish Rawat lost Haridwar (Rural) seat to BJP's Yatishwaranand by over 12,000 votes.

In Punjab, the Congress won 16 and was leading in 60 of the 117 constituencies while the AAP, making a debut in Punjab Assembly polls, was in the second position winning six seats and ahead in 16.

The ruling SAD was demolished with the party winning one and leading in 13 while its coalition partner BJP led in three seats.

Punjab Congress President Amarinder Singh, who is the party's chief ministerial face, thanked people of the state for their overwhelming support.

The Congress legislature party will meet tomorrow to elect its leader, he said.

In Goa where trends and results were available for 25 seats, the ruling BJP and Congress won seven seats each and were also leading in two seats each, in what could lead to a hung Assembly whose strength is 40.

The BJP suffered a big reverse when Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar lost to his Congress rival from Mandrem.

Former Chief Minister Digambar Kamat (Congress) won from Margao constituency.

In Manipur, the ruling Congress won 9 seats and was ahead in seven while the BJP bagged four leading in 12, according to details available for 39 out of 40 constituencies.

Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh won from Thoubal Assembly seat by a margin of 10,400 votes. Rights activist Irom Sharmila, making her poll debut, was relegated to the fourth position.


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