Counting underway in Gujarat, Himachal
Counting of votes of the assembly elections held in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh in Nov-Dec is underway on Thursday with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) predictably leading in the western state where Narendra Modi is set to romp back home for the third consecutive term, while Congress is making early gains in the Himalayan state.
The BJP is leading in 116 in 182-seat Gujarat at around 10 am while the Congress is leading in 60. The Gujarat Parivartan Party (GPP) is leading in four only.
In the 68-seat Himachal Pradesh, the Congress is leading while the ruling BJP is behind.
Polling was held on Nov 4 in Himachal Pradesh with a nearly 75 percent turnout. Congress leader Virbhadra Singh is a big favourite to win the party the polls even as BJP chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal asserted that he will come back for the second term.
Gujarat witnessed two phased polls on Dec 13 and 17.
In the second phase polls on Dec 17 in Gujarat, nearly 70 percent voters exercised their franchise.
In the first phase the turnout was 71 percent on Dec 13.
Modi had campaigned aggressively for the elections, seeking the approval of voters once again while Congress poster boy Rahul Gandhi also carried out extensive campaigning.
The third consecutive victory of Modi is crucial for the Gujarat strongman who has pitched himself as the prime ministerial candidate of the BJP for the 2014 general elections.