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Gujarat poll results: BJP poised to take power
December 18, 2017, 11:39 am

The ruling BJP was on Monday set to retain power in Gujarat, with its candidates on the victory lap in 104 of the 182 seats as the Congress again settled for the second place but with an improved showing.

After surprisingly leading over the Bharatiya Janata Party at one point and sending the stock market crashing, the Congress began to trail to the BJP again. Election Commission officials said the Congress was expected to grab 75 seats. Chief Minister Vijay Rupani too trailed at one time in Rajkot West but managed to reverse the situation after a while and ultimately won, the officials said.

At one time, overjoyed Congress activists, expecting a victory, began celebrating in Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar. The stock markets too took a beating. But the Congress celebrations were shortlived.

"We are going to form a government in Gujarat. People have voted for us on development issues," BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain told the media. Before the BJP crossed the half-way mark, Congress spokesperson Shobha Oza was equally confident.

"People have got sick and tired of the 22 years of BJP misrule in Gujarat. The Gujarat model which the BJP touted so proudly to take power nationally is not clicking in Gujarat... We are sure we will form the government."

It was the first Assembly election in Gujarat since Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister in 2014. Modi had led the BJP to victory in the election in 2012.

BJP poised to take power in Himachal, wins first seat

The BJP was set to take power in Himachal Pradesh with its candidates on a victory lap in 36 of the 68 seats in the Assembly elections. The party won its first seat by defeating Congress cabinet Minister Prakash Chaudhary on Monday. BJP's Inder Singh Gandhi defeated Chaudhary from Balh in Mandi district with a big margin.

Trends from the other counting centres across the hill state showed the Congress was ahead in 22 constituencies, while the BJP was leading in 43 seats and smaller parties and independents had inched ahead in all others seats. The BJP needs 35 seats to control the Himachal Assembly.

State BJP spokesperson Ganesh Dutt said: "We have crossed the half-way mark. This clearly indicates we are going to form the government in the state."

Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh (Arki) and his son Vikramaditya Singh (Shimla Rural) were, however, ahead of their BJP rivals. State BJP chief Satpal Singh Satti and BJP Chief Ministerial candidate Prem Kumar Dhumal trailed to the Congress from Una and Sujanpur seats.

A total of 337 candidates contested the November 9 election. A total of 37,83,580 people voted in the hill state -- a record 75.28 percent polling.

The Congress and the BJP contested in all the 68 constituencies. Most exit polls had predicted the BJP's return to power with a majority.

The state has alternately elected Congress and BJP since 1985. In 2012, the Congress won 36 seats and the BJP 26. Independents bagged six seats.

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