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A day before counting, anxiety writ large on political parties

The fact that the state elections are held months before the 2024 Lok Sabha elections added to the disquiet.

A day before counting, anxiety writ large on political parties

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on Monday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi (IANS)

With barely hours to go for the counting of votes polled in the assembly elections in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Telangana political parties were anxiously waiting for the outcome of the electoral exercise with bated breath.

The fact that they are held months before the 2024 Lok Sabha elections added to the anxiety over the state elections. Some are even touting the polls to be semifinals before the general elections.

The counting will be taken up simultaneously in all the four states amidst tight security. Meanwhile, counting in Mizoram has been rescheduled to Monday in view of various representations received by the Election Commission (EC) that Sunday holds a special significance for the people of the northeastern state.

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On the eve of counting, both the BJP and the Congress exuded confidence that the people’s verdict had gone in their favour while the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) was optimistic that it would retain power in Telangana in the face of a stiff challenge from the Congress.

Voting for 199 of the 200-member Rajasthan Assembly was held in a single phase on November 25 and for the 230 constituencies in Madhya Pradesh on November 17. Voting for 119 seats in Telangana took place on November 30 and 40 constituencies in Mizoram on November 7. Voting for the 90-member Chhattisgarh Assembly was held in two-phases on November 7 and 17.

While not projecting anyone as its chief ministerial candidate in any state, the saffron party used Prime Minister Narendra Modi as its face in the Assembly elections, highlighting the achievements of his government at the Centre. The grand old party harped on what it called the failures of the Modi government at the Centre.

On the eve of counting, Union Law minister Arjun Ram Meghwal, who hails from Rajasthan, said, “The BJP is winning the elections with an overwhelming majority in Rajasthan. There is no doubt in this.”

Congress Deputy Leader in the Lok Sabha Gaurav Gogoi said, “I have full faith that in Rajasthan, Congress government will be formed. I myself had spent time there. I believe tomorrow, we will get the blessings of the people of Rajasthan.”

“Overall, I feel through the polls in five states, INDIA (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance) has got a lot of strength. After tomorrow’s result, INDIA will get momentum,” he added.

INDIA is an umbrella of the Opposition which was formed in July this year to take on the ruling BJP in the 2024 general elections.

In Madhya Pradesh, which witnessed a direct contest between the ruling BJP and Congress, leaders from both parties were confident of their victory.

Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra said, “Wait till tomorrow, Congress will raise questions on EVM. When the Congress faces defeat, they raise questions.”

Senior Congress leader and former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijaya Singh said, “We will win over 130 seats in Madhya Pradesh.”

Talking about Chhattisgarh which witnessed a direct contest between the ruling Congress and BJP, former chief minister Raman Singh said, “There is a downfall in the popularity of the Congress. We are winning about 50 to 52 seats and will form a government in Chhattisgarh.”

Senior Congress leader and MP Pramod Tiwari said, “We have feedback from workers… We will form the government.”

In Telangana, the BRS was confident of retaining power while the Congress said it would dislodge the current dispensation.

Congress MP Uttam Kumar Reddy said, “There is a huge wave against the BRS( in Telangana). Undoubtedly, the BRS is being swept out of power.”

Taking a swipe at the BRS, he said, “Why are they daydreaming? It’s up to them. Any single analyst in Telangana will say bye-bye KCR (K Chandrashekar Rao). ”

Notably, recent exit polls predicted an advantage for the BJP in two of the three Hindi heartland states (Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh) while the Congress appeared ahead in Chhattisgarh.

In Telangana, the exit polls have predicted that the BRS will be replaced by the Congress.

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