Polls: At a glance
- Over 8,500 candidates are in fray in five states
- A total of 678 assembly seats across five states went for polls
- Polling was countermanded in one seat in Rajasthan due to death of a candidate
In a bid to outwit possible BJP moves, the Congress in Madhya Pradesh moved swiftly seeking a meeting with the Governor claiming it has got majority support and should be invited to form the next government.
Madhya Pradesh Congress President Kamal Nath wrote a letter to Governor Anandiben Patel late on Tuesday and sought an early response from her.
In his letter, he has said the Congress party as emerged as the single-largest party with majority support. "All the Independents have in addition assured support to the Congress party," he said.
"As President of the Pradesh Congress Committee I seek an appointment with your excellency late tonight as soon as the results are officially declared along with my senior leaders to apprise you and seek your permission to form the government in the state of Madhya Pradesh. I would be grateful for an early response to this communication."
The response was a quick rebuff.
In the 230-member Assembly, the Congress has won 77 seats and was leading in 37 seats. The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won 74 seats and was leading in 35 others.
The Bahujan Samaj Party was leading in two seats and the Samajwadi Party won one seat. Independents, most of whom are Congress rebels, have won in three seats and leading in one.
PM Narendra Modi tweeted a series of posts saying that his party is ready to accept the choices made by the people.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje on Tuesday conceded BJP's defeat in the Assembly elections and hoped the Congress would take forward the policies her government had implemented in the last five years.
She said her party will raise issues of public importance while sitting in the opposition in the Assembly.
"I accept this mandate by the people. BJP has worked a lot for them in these five years, I hope the next party takes those policies and works forward," Raje said while addressing a media briefing.
Raje said the BJP will raise issues of public interest and will take positive steps in their favour while sitting in the opposition in the Assembly.
She congratulated the Congress for their victory in the state and thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP President Amit Shah, senior party leaders and all the party workers for their guidance and support.
In a closely fought battle the Congress is all set to form a new government ousting the BJP from power.
The new Mizo National Front (MNF) government is likely to assume office on Saturday, party president and Chief Minister-designate Zoramthanga said here on Tuesday night.
"I have discussed this evening with Governor Kummanam Rajasekhar about holding the swearing-in ceremony of the new Council of Ministers on December 15. The Governor after talking with all the stakeholders will decide about the time and date of the oath-taking ceremony on Wednesday," the MNF supremo told the media.
Earlier in the evening, after handing down a crushing defeat to the ruling Congress, MNF head Zoramthanga met the Governor at the Raj Bhavan and staked claim to form the government, after a decade.
A statement of the MNF said that Zoramthanga has been unanimously elected leader of the MNF Legislature Party.
A former Chief Minister, Zoramthanga, 74, was elected for a fifth term from Aizawl East-I seat, defeating Independent candidate K. Sapdanga by a margin of 2,504 votes.
The MNF, which got only five seats in the 2013 Assembly polls, secured 26 seats this time, while the ruling Congress won only five against 34 seats last time.
The MNF, a constituent of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), governed Mizoram for 10 years -- 1998-2003 and 2003-2008.
MNF's founder and former militant leader Laldenga had headed two brief MNF-led governments in 1986-1987 and 1987-1988 before the President's rule was imposed in the state on October 8, 1988.
However, both MNF and BJP contested polls separately in Mizoram. The MNF had put up 40 candidates and BJP 39, its highest ever.
The veteran tribal leader, Zoramthanga was earlier the Chief Minister of the Christian-dominated northeastern state for 10 years (1998-2003 and 2003-2008).
Rahul Gandhi addresses media
Celebrations are under way outside Congress office in Bhopal. Congress has won 12 seats leading on 100 seats in the state.
Congratulating the party President, as well as UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, for the Congress win in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, Amarinder Singh said the party had clearly revived under the dynamic leadership of Rahul Gandhi.
The latest Election Commission figures show that Congress was poised to register a comprehensive victory in Chhattisgarh, leading in 66 constituencies in a House of 90.
It is poised to win 101 seats in Rajasthan and cross the half-way mark.
In Madhya Pradesh, it is leading in 115 constituencies compared to 106 by the ruling BJP. The BJP has been ruling both Madhya Pradesh and Chaattisgarh for the last 15 years.
Riding high on Telangana pride and welfare schemes, Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao led his Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) to a thumping victory, crushing the Congress-led alliance in India's youngest state.
Beating all expectations of pre-poll surveys and exit polls, the TRS appeared set to win a whopping 77 seats in the 119-member Assembly, triggering wild celebrations by party leaders as well as activists all over the state.
The gamble for early polls appeared to have paid rich dividends for the regional party as it bagged 77 seats and was leading in 10 constituencies.
Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) President and Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao on Tuesday termed the huge win of his party in the assembly elections as people's victory.
He told a news conference at TRS headquarters that people irrespective of caste, creed and religion and all sections including farmers, women and youth supported the TRS.
KCR, as Rao is popularly known, thanked people for showing confidence in the TRS and vowed to continue the efforts to take Telangana forward on the path of development and prosperity.
The TRS chief advised party workers against becoming arrogant, saying this huge victory has added to their responsibility to fulfil the promises made to the people.
He said TRS remained committed to fulfilling its promise to irrigate 10 million acres by completing all pending projects.
Meanwhile, the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) retained seven Assembly seats in the Telangana capital.
The party's floor leader in the dissolved Assembly, Akbaruddin Owaisi, was re-elected from Chandrayangutta constituency for the fifth consecutive term.
He defeated his nearest rival Sayyad Shahezadi of the BJP by over 80,000 votes.
The other winners of the AIMIM are Mumtaz Ahmed Khan (Charminar), Ahmed Pasha Quadri (Yakutpura), Jaffar Hussain (Nampalli), Ahmed Bin Abdullah Balala (Malakpet), Moazzam Khan (Bahadurpura) and Kausar Mohiuddin (Karwan).
They were all members of the dissolved Assembly.
The AIMIM had fielded eight candidates, all in Hyderabad, and declared support to the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) in the rest of the state.
The party's eighth candidate Mirza Rahmat Baig, however, failed to win the Rajendranagar seat.
MNF wins Mizoram
Final party position in the new Mizoram Assembly:
Total seats: 40
Mizo National Front (MNF): 26 (5)
Congress: 5 (34)
Bharatiya Janata Party: 1 (0)
Independents (Zoram People's Movement-ZPM): 8 (0)
Securing an absolute majority in the 40-member Mizoram Assembly, the MNF on Tuesday returned to power after a decade, crushing the Congress and ousting it from power in the last Northeastern state it ruled.
The Mizo National Front (MNF), which got only five seats in the 2013 Assembly polls, secured 21 seats and was leading in five more while the ruling Congress won only five seats.
The Congress had taken power in the state in both 2008 and 2013 elections. It won 34 seats in the last election.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) made its entry into the Mizoram Assembly winning the Tuichawng seat.
Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla lost both the constituencies (Champhai South and Serchhip) he contested -- to MNF's T.J. Lalnuntluanga and Zoram People's Movement (ZPM) President Lalduhoma respectively.
MNF supremo and Chief Ministerial candidate Zoramthanga was elected for a fifth term from Aizawl East-I, defeating Independent candidate K. Sapdanga.
Buddha Dhan Chakma, a Minister in the Congress government, who just before the November 28 polls joined the BJP, won in Chakma tribal-dominated Tuichawng constituency defeating his MNF rival by 1,594 votes.
The Congress on Tuesday was set to return to power in Chhattisgarh, was ahead of the BJP in Rajasthan and locked in a neck-and-neck fight in Madhya Pradesh but it was mauled in Telangana and Mizoram in critical Assembly elections held ahead of next year's Lok Sabha battle.
Exit polls held at the end of staggered voting were proved right in Chhattisgarh, where the Congress, despite not having an alliance with the Janta Congress Chhattisgarh-BSP combine was set to win handsomely, ending 15 years of Bharatiya Janata Party rule.
Congress candidates were set to bag 60 of the 90 seats, an increase of 24 seats, leaving the BJP gasping at 23 seats. The BSP-Janta Congress Chhattisgarh alliance of former Chief Minister Ajit Jogi got five seats.
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh resigned on Tuesday taking moral responsibility for the BJP's stunning defeat in Assembly elections.
He told the media that he had sent his resignation to the Governor.
"I take moral responsibility for the defeat," Raman Singh, who was Chief Minister for 15 years, said as it became clear that the Congress was headed for a thumping victory in the 90-member Assembly.
He said he would continue to serve the state while in the opposition ranks.
But in contrast to the initial signs of a clear victory in Rajasthan, India's largest state which has not re-elected a ruling party in 20 years, the Congress was within shaking hands of the half-way mark but short of it by a couple of seats, counting trends showed.
As Election Commission officials gave the Congress the lead in 101 of the 199 seats and put the BJP ahead in 71, Congress leader and former Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said that his party was confident of forming a government with help from independents.
An exciting see-saw battle was on in Madhya Pradesh, which too the BJP has ruled for 15 long years, with trends from counting centres at times putting the Congress in the lead and at times behind the ruling party, keeping everyone guessing.
Congress and BJP candidates were each leading in 110 of the 230 constituencies. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said he was sure the BJP would retain power in the state despite being hit hard in more than 50 seats which they won five years ago.
Congress leads in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh; 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, the 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.
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 103 seats and the Congress in 112 in trends available for 224 of the 230 seats. The Bahujan Samaj Party was ahead in four 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".
Headed for victory in 3 states; trend to continue in rest of India: Pilot
Rajasthan Congress chief Sachin Pilot exuded confidence that the party will form the government in Rajasthan and Rahul Gandhi as well as party's MLAs will decide on who will be the chief minister. He said the Congress was marching towards victory in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh and the trend would continue in the future in the rest of India.
"People have blessed us. We should get a comfortable majority in Rajasthan," Pilot told reporters here.
Asked about who will be the chief minister, Pilot said Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and party's MLAs will decide on it. Asserting that it is a decisive day today, Pilot recalled that exactly a year ago Gandhi became the chief of the party. "What could be a better gift to him than victory in these states," Pilot said.
Sensex tanks over 500 pts; Nifty cracks below 10,400; Rupee down
Benchmark Indian equity indices opened with heavy losses Tuesday as investors were on edge ahead of the final assembly election results from five states, amid plummeting rupee after RBI Governor Urjit Patel's unexpected resignation. The Sensex opened over 500 points lower. It was trading 517.97 points, or 1.48 per cent, down at 34,441.75.
In similar movement, the NSE Nifty dropped below the 10,400 mark, slumping 144.05 points, or 1.37 per cent, to 10,344.40.
The Sensex tumbled 714 points, or 2 per cent, to close at 34,959.72 in Monday's session. The Nifty too fell 205.25 points, or 1.92 per cent, to end at 10,488.45.
The rupee opened 110 paise, or 1.50 per cent, down at 72.42 after the unexpected resignation of the Reserve Bank Governor Urjit Patel Monday, four days ahead of a crucial meeting of the board of the central bank that could have discussed issues of simmering differences with the government.
Celebrations at TRS HQ in Hyderabad
Celebrations began at the Telangana Rashtra Samithi's (TRS) headquarters in Hyderabad on Tuesday as it became clear that the party was heading for a landslide victory in the Assembly elections.
Holding pictures of TRS President and Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao, party workers gathered at the Telangana Bhavan raising slogans of "Jai Telangana" and "KCR Zindabad".
They also burst firecrackers, distributed sweets, while some other enthusiastic workers, including women, were seen dancing.
They said the welfare and development works undertaken during the last four and a half years paid rich dividends to the party.
Congress candidates on Tuesday took significant leads in BJP-ruled Rajasthan and was inching ahead of the BJP in both Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh in Assembly elections held in five states.
Early trends from counting centres also showed that the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) appeared set to retain power in Telangana while the ruling Congress was lagging behind the Mizo National Front (MNF) in Mizoram in state elections that were widely dubbed a "semi-final" ahead of the Lok Sabha battle next year.
In line with exit polls, the Congress appeared to be returning to power after a five-year gap in Rajasthan, the country's largest state which has not re-elected a ruling party in recent times.
Congress candidates were ahead in 87 of the 199 constituencies, gaining around 60 seats, while the BJP was leading in 70 seats but heavily losing in over 50 constituencies.
And in a reversal of trends, the Congress overtook the BJP in both Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. Both states the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has ruled for 15 years.
Congress nominees were ahead of others in 75 seats and the BJP in 60 in the battle for the 230-member Assembly. While the Congress made major gains across the state, the BJP was losing many seats it has held for long.
In Chhattisgarh, the Congress was ahead in 44 of the 90 seats, giving a fright to the BJP, whose Chief Minister Raman Singh was at one time trailing in the vote count from Rajnandgaon before he overtook his rivals later.
BJP candidates were ahead in 25 seats in Chhattisgarh.
In Mizoram, the ruling Congress was trailing to the MNF, whose candidates were ahead in 16 of the 40 seats. The Congress was ahead in five seats, losing as many as 10 seats.
The TRS was poised to retain power in Telangana with a huge majority, with its candidates leading in 80 of the 119 seats, leaving the Congress-led alliance way behind.
Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi told the media that he was confident of a Congress victory in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and said he had "always been a little more pessimistic" about Telangana.
Who will win? Counting starts
Counting of votes for five state assemblies began on Tuesday amid tight security. In the multi-phase polling, Chhattisgarh voted on November 12 (18 seats) and November 20 (72 seats); Madhya Pradesh (230 seats) and Mizoram (40 seats) on November 28; and Rajasthan (199 seats) and Telangana (119 seats) on December 7.
Over 8,500 candidates were in the fray in polls for these assemblies.
A total of 678 assembly seats across five states went for polls, after polling was countermanded in one seat in Rajasthan due to death of a candidate.
Tight security arrangements have been made for the counting, especially in Chhattisgarh where at least 12 assembly seats are in Naxal-affected areas. Besides, there have been allegations related to the electronic voting machines.
Hectic political parleys marked the eve of counting of votes for five state assemblies, billed as semi-finals before the 2019 national polls, with the Congress asserting that the mandate from Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Mizoram on Tuesday would send a "clear message" against the Narendra Modi government at the Centre.
Rejecting the exit-poll results, most of which have forecast gains for Congress in at least four states including a clear majority in Rajasthan, the BJP leaders said the final results should be awaited even as they sought to de-link the state polls from the next year's Lok Sabha elections.
In Telangana, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi met interim chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao to extend his support and said he was sure about the ruling TRS coming back to power, while the BJP also hinted at its possible support.
The Congress-led alliance, however, appeared upbeat that it would get the mandate to dislodge KCR, as the chief minister is popularly known as, and form the next government. It also told Governor ESL Narasimhan that it should be treated as a single entity in the event of no party getting a clear majority.
For Madhya Pradesh, senior Congress leader Kamal Nath exuded confidence that his party would get at least 140 seats to form a majority government.
For Telangana, exit polls have been divided between the TRS and the Congress-led opposition alliance. Same is the case for Mizoram where the ruling Congress is being challenged by its arch-rival in the state, Mizo National Front, while the BJP is also separately in fray.
Ahead of the results, Congress president Rahul Gandhi said people will give a "clear message" in form of results for the five assemblies and exuded confidence that the BJP would be ousted in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
These assembly elections are being seen as crucial for the BJP ahead of the Lok Sabha elections as it is in power in three of these states - Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. The Congress is in power in Mizoram, while the TRS ruled Telangana before the assembly was dissolved there.
The BJP is trying for a fourth term in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and is seeking to retain power in Rajasthan. The three states also played a significant role for the BJP in the 2014 general elections, when it had won 62 out of the 65 Lok Sabha seats in these three states.
The elections are also significant for Congress, which is out to challenge the BJP's rule in three states and protect its last bastion in the North-East, where Mizoram remains the only state not under the rule of BJP-led NDA. The eight North-East states together have 25 Lok Sabha seats.
In the 2013 elections in Mizoram, the Congress had won 34 seats, while MNF got five and the Mizoram People's Conference bagged one seat. Since 1987, Mizoram has been ruled by either Congress or the MNF, while the BJP is yet to win an assembly seat there.
In Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, the BJP has been in power for three consecutive terms, while Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje-led BJP government Rajasthan is seeking to defy a recent trend of the saffron party and the Congress being in power alternately.
KCR-led Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) had formed the first government of the country's youngest state in 2014 after it was carved out of Andhra Pradesh.
In the maiden polls for the 119-seat Telangana assembly, 1,821 candidates were in fray and a voter turnout of 73.20 per cent was recorded.
Chhattisgarh recorded 76.60 per cent voter turnout, while the same for Madhya Pradesh was 75.05 per cent. Rajasthan recorded over 74 per cent voting, while it was nearly 80 per cent in Mizoram.