Congress ahead in Telangana; results a crucial prelude to 2024 LS polls
New Delhi: Five hours into the counting of votes for Assembly polls in four States this morning, the BJP is comfortably leading in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Chhattisgarh. The Congress is ahead in Telangana, marking its sole consolation in this round of State polls.
These four Assembly polls are seen as a semi-final to Lok Sabha elections, occurring months before the significant battle. While Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Telangana voted in a single phase, the elections in Chhattisgarh were held in two phases. Counting of votes in all four States began with the initial count of postal ballots, followed by counting votes from the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).
Mizoram’s vote counting for the Assembly Elections 2023 was initially set for Dec. 3 but was postponed to Dec. 4, as Sunday holds special significance for the people of Mizoram, a Christian-majority State.
Both the BJP and the Congress had framed issues with the general elections in mind. The BJP, which had won Gujarat and Tripura but suffered defeats in Karnataka and Himachal Pradesh, needs victories under its belt to build momentum leading up to the Lok Sabha polls.
The Congress, on the other hand, is desperate to win a couple of states, hoping it would give them an upper hand in seat-sharing talks with allies of the I.N.D.I.A bloc.
Indications of early trends
In Madhya Pradesh, which was expected to see a close contest, the BJP has a clear advantage.
The party has surged far ahead of Congress in early trends. Results in Rajasthan align with exit poll predictions of a BJP victory, with the party comfortably leading over the ruling Congress. Final result may follow the State’s trend of not re-electing a party.
With BJP leading in counting of votes for Madhya Pradesh (MP) Assembly polls, Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on Sunday said, people have blessed the party’s “double-engine” Govt. at the Centre & in the State because of its welfare and development policies.
In Telangana, Congress hopes that the current trends continue, as the party is significantly ahead of the ruling Bharat Rashtra Samithi that has been governing the State since its formation in 2014. Chhattisgarh, which initially appeared to be leaning towards the Congress in early trends, turned into a neck-and-neck fight and has now shifted in favour of BJP. The trends so far have also revealed surprises in terms of individual performance. Chief Minister and BRS Chief K. Chandrashekar Rao is trailing in his stronghold Kamareddy. Also trailing was Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel in Patan, but he has now taken a lead.
Results in MP will hugely disappoint Congress, which threw its weight behind former CM Kamal Nath, hoping for victory. In fact, posters proclaiming Nath’s victory had come up even before the counting began. Speaking to media this morning, Nath expressed confidence in a Congress win, stating that he had not seen the trends and neither does he want to.
In Rajasthan, infighting within Congress camps led by CM Ashok Gehlot and his former Deputy Sachin Pilot, may have impacted the party’s prospects in several seats despite its attempts for a united front. Telangana result has once again shown how projecting local leaders works in favour of Congress. Learning from its victory in Karnataka, Congress leadership fully supported the State Party Chief Revanth Reddy & that decision appears to have paid off.