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Congress leads in Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, TRS in Telangana, MNF in Mizoram

Congress leads in Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, TRS in Telangana, MNF in Mizoram

New Delhi: The Congress on Tuesday appeared to be on the road to victory in BJP-ruled Chhattisgarh and possibly Rajasthan and was locked in a close fight in Madhya Pradesh while the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) was headed for a landslide win in Telangana, dealing a blow to the Congress.

The Mizo National Front (MNF) looked set to unseat the Congress in Mizoram, the only state in the northeast the Congress was ruling.

As officials counted the millions of votes polled in Assembly elections in the five states whose outcome is considered significant ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, there was good news for the Congress in the Hindi heartland.

The Congress was headed for a landslide in the 90-member Chhattisgarh Assembly, with its candidates leading over their rivals in 58 constituencies to the 24 seats of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has ruled Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh for 15 long years.

The alliance of the Janta Congress Chhattisgarh of former Chief Minister Ajit Jogi and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) were leading in seven seats.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh was leading but all his cabinet Ministers were trailing, officials said.

In Rajasthan, the Congress was ahead in 100 of the 199 seats and the BJP in 77. But Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje said she was still confident of retaining power.

And in line with exit polls, the Congress had surged past the BJP in Madhya Pradesh, its nominees ahead in 115 of the 230 constituencies. The BJP was ahead in 104 seats. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan seemed to be on the winning track.

The Congress-led alliance in Telangana suffered a major blow as officials counting the votes predicted that the ruling TRS was poised to get a second five-year term with a landslide. TRS nominees had taken solid leads in 95 of the 119 constituencies, crushing the opposition.

Noisy celebrations erupted outside Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao's residence and the TRS office in Hyderabad and in other towns in the state.

In Mizoram, the Mizo National Front (MNF) was leading in 25 of the 40 seats, a clear indication that the Congress was set to lose power after a decade. Congress candidates were leading in seven seats.

Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla was trailing in both the constituencies he contested.

Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi told the media that he was confident of a Congress victory in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and that he had "always been a little more pessimistic" about Telangana.

BJP spokesperson G.V.L. Narasimha Rao said the results were expected to turn in his party's favour as more rounds of vote count get completed.

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