Bhopal: The ruling BJP seems all set to retain power in Madhya Pradesh, where the party has been in power the past 10 years.
The Bharatiya Janata Party surged ahead in 145 seats, comfortably breaching the half way mark in the 230-member assembly.
The opposition Congress was in the second spot, leading in 74 seats. The Bahujan Samaj Party tally stood at five seats and others were six.
The BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi was quick to hail Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who now gets to continue in office for a third consecutive term.
"Called Shivraj ji to congratulate him for BJP's wonderful performance in the Madhya Pradesh Assembly Elections!," tweeted Modi after the BJP headed to a thumping victory in Madhya Pradesh.
Chouhan, 53, was first appointed chief minister in 2005. Before that, the BJP's Uma Bharati became the chief minister in 2003 and after she quit, Babulal Gaur became the chief minister for a short while.
"The chief minister, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, is heading for the hat-trick in the state," said state BJP leader Narendra Singh Tomar.
The vote count started across 51 districts at 8 a.m. Postal ballots were counted first and half an hour later, the counting of ballots cast through the electronic voting machines (EVMs) began.
As many as 2,583 candidates battled it out in the election for which polling took place Nov 25.
The electoral battle was primarily between the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress, with the BJP trouncing the latter.
As the results began to pour in, the BJP workers began celebrating across the sprawling state.
They fire crackers, beat drums, distributed sweets and waved their party flag, celebrating the poll success.
In the last assembly, the BJP had 143 members and the Congress 71. The voting percentage this time was 70 percent of the total electorate of 4,64,57,724.