The BJP appeared set Sunday to wrest Rajasthan from the Congress with counting trends in the afternoon showing the party leading on 111 seats, way past the Congress which was ahead in 73 constituencies.
If the initial trends released by the Election Commission hold, the party is comfortably past the halfway mark of 100. Polling was held for 199 of the 200 seats in the state assembly on November 25.
Celebrations broke out at the BJP’s state headquarter as the party crossed the majority-mark, in terms of trends.
Groups of women workers at that office raised slogans hailing Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “The BJP is going to get a thumping victory and will form the government,” a party worker said.
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Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat took a dig at Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, saying his “magic” is over.
“The 'magic' has ended and Rajasthan has come out of the spell of the magician. People have voted for the honour of women and for the welfare of the poor,” he said.
Gehlot’s father performed magic shows, and the CM has said in the past that he assisted in some.
Shekhawat asserted that the BJP will form the government in the state with a huge mandate.
The election in Sriganganagar's Karanpur seat was postponed due to the death of Congress candidate Gurmeet Singh Koonar.
The trends also showed the Bahujan Samaj Party, Rashtriya Loktantrik Party and Bharat Adivasi Party leading on two seats each. Independents were ahead in nine constituencies at this stage.
In the current Assembly, the ruling Congress has 107 MLAs, BJP 70 and Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP) three.
Also, the CPI(M) and Bhartiya Tribal Party (BTP) have two seats each and the Rashtriya Lok Dal one. There are 13 independents in the outgoing assembly and two seats (Udaipur and Karanpur) are vacant.
Postal ballots were counted first. This was followed by the counting of votes polled through electronic voting machines (EVMs).
Altogether 36 counting centres were set up in 199 assembly constituencies. PTI SDA AG DV DIV IJT ASH ASH