BJP-Sena set to keep Maharashtra; Haryana a worry

The Bharatiya Janata Party-Shiv Sena alliance looked set to return to power in Maharashtra while Haryana could be a cliffhanger with no clear majority for the BJP or the Congress, Election Commission trends indicated as votes for the assembly polls held this week were counted on Thursday.

Photograph: Atul Loke/Getty Images

While the BJP did not appear to be headed for the emphatic win it was expecting in the states it had ruled for five years, the Congress took a back seat to its partner Nationalist Congress Party in Maharashtra but could substantially better its tally in Haryana, according to the trends available.

 

In 2014, the BJP had won 122 seats in the western state, the Sena 63, the Congress 42 and the NCP 41.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis was leading over his Congress rival Ashish Deshmukh in Nagpur South West. Making his political debut, Shiv Sena‘s Aaditya Thackeray has established a comfortable lead in the Worli assembly constituency.

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In Haryana, where BJP leader Manohar Lal Khattar is seeking a return to power, no party seemed to be heading for a clear majority.

In an electoral contest with no clear winner, Dushyant Chautala could well emerge kingmaker with his Jannayak Janta Party leading in 10 seats.

Taking a swipe at the Bharatiya Janata Party‘s “Mission 75”, Chautala said it would fall way short of its target of winning 75 seats.

Declaring that his party will hold the key to formation of the next dispensation, he told reporters, “People of Haryana want change.”

Both Khattar and his predecessor Bhupinder Singh Hooda of the Congress were among those who were leading from Karnal and Garhi Sampla-Kiloi respectively, according to early trends.

In 2014, the BJP won 47 seats and the Congress 15, with two Haryana Janhit Congress legislators later merging with it. The Indian National Lok Dal had 19 seats and the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Shiromani Akali Dal one each. There were five Independents.

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