BJP heads for huge win in UP, U'khand; Cong ahead in Punjab,
The BJP on 11 March headed for a huge win in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand while the Congress forged ahead in Punjab marked by an anti-incumbency wave in the three states while they were locked in a close contest in Goa and Manipur.
According to trends available after three hours of counting of votes in the Assembly elections in the five states, the BJP was leading in 291 out of 396 constituencies in the 403-member Assembly in a stunning showing leaving their rivals far behind.
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 gamechanger and a virtual referendum on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's popularity and demonetisation.
The nascent SP-Congress coalition was ahead in 69 seats while Mayawati's party BSP put up a poor show leading only in 17 places. The SP, whose campaign was spearheaded by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on development agenda, led in 58 seats.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh's son Pankaj Singh was leading in Noida.
Tainted minister Gayatri Prajapati, who is absconding after UP police booked him in an alleged gangrape case and attempt to rape a minor, was leading in Amethi.
He is pitted against Garima Singh (BJP), the first wife of Congress leader Sanjay Sinh, and Ameeta Singh (Cong) -- his present wife.
With a 45 per cent vote share in Uttarakhand, the BJP was leading in 52 constituencies while the Congress was ahead only in 16 segments, according to trends available for all the 70 seats.
In Punjab, the Congress was leading in 65 of the 117 constituencies while the AAP, making a debut in Punjab Assembly polls, and the SAD were locked in a close contest for the second position ahead in 25 and 20 seats respectively.
SAD's coalition partner BJP was leading in four seats.
In Goa, the Congress was leading in eight followed by the ruling BJP in five segments as trends poured for all the 40 constituencies.
Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar was trailing in Mandrem constituency where Congress's Dayanand Sopte was ahead.
The first result went in favour of the Maharashtravadi Gomantak Party (MGP), whose contestant Dipak Pawaskar defeated Ganesh Gaonkar of BJP in Sanvordem.
Leader of Opposition Pratapsinh Rane (Congress) is leading BJP's Vishwajit Krishnarao Rane in Poriem seat.
In Manipur, the ruling Congress won 3 seats and was leading in 8 while the BJP bagged two seats and was ahead in 10.
Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh won from Thoubal assembly constituency in Manipur by over 8,000 votes.
Rights activist Irom Sharmila (PRJA), who was making her poll debut, was one of the contestants. -PTI