BJP set to retain power in UP, AAP headed for historic win in Punjab

BJP supporters celebrating their party's success outside the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly building after party took a big lead in the state elections, in Lucknow on Thursday, March 10, 2022. (Anupam Gautam/ IANS)

BJP set to retain power in UP, AAP headed for historic win in Punjab

New Delhi, March 10, 2022

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was set to retain power in India's most populous state of Uttar Pradesh while the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) was headed for a historic win in Punjab as the counting of votes in the assembly elections in five states progressed today.

In Uttar Pradesh, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath was all set for a second consecutive five-year term in office as the BJP established leads in 268 of the 403 constituencies, early counting trends indicated.

The Samajwadi Party led by Akhilesh Yadav, which had put up a spirited campaign, was way behind with leads in 125 constituencies, while the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) was ahead in four and the Congress in three. Other parties were leading in three constituencies.

In Punjab, AAP was poised to wrest power for the first time, pushing aside the ruling Congress and the opposition Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), which had dominated politics in the state for the past many decades.

AAP was leading in as many as 90 of the 117 seats as it appeared to be heading for a landslide win, the counting trends showed.

The Congress was far behind with leads in 18 constituencies, while the SAD was ahead in six, the BJP in two and others in one.

The BJP had also established a comfortable lead in Uttarakhand, where it was ahead in 42 of the 70 seats while the Congress had leads in 24 and others in four.

In Goa, the ruling BJP was leading in 18 of the 40 seats, while the Congress was ahead in 12. The Trinamool Congress was leading in four and AAP in two, while others had leads in four constituencies.

The BJP was also leading in Manipur, with leads in 31 of the 60 seats, while the Congress was ahead in seven and other parties in as many as 22 seats.

The five states had voted between February 10 and March 7 to choose new legislative assemblies in what are seen to be crucial polls ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

The counting of ballots began amidst tight security at 8 am and most of the results are expected by evening.

Of the five states, Uttar Pradesh saw polling in seven phases on February 10, February 14, February 20, February 23, February 27, March 3 and March 7.

Goa and Uttarakhand had single-phase polling on February 14, while Punjab had single-phase polling on February 20.

Manipur voted in two phases on February 28 and March 5.

Along with the assembly elections, votes are also being counted today in the bye-election to the Majuli assembly constituency in Assam.

The Election Commission of India said that it had, altogether, posted 671 counting observers, 130 police observers, and 10 Special Observers to the five states to ensure that the entire exercise is conducted smoothly.

The Commission has also deputed two special officers, Chief Electoral Officer, Delhi to Meerut and Chief Electoral Officer, Bihar to Varanasi, both in Uttar Pradesh to supervise the counting arrangements.

An official press release said elaborate and foolproof arrangements had been made at all the counting centres.

District administrations have imposed prohibitory orders around the counting halls to ensure that there are no untoward incidents.

The counting trends and results are available on the website of the Election Commission.

The trends and results can also be accessed through the “Voter Helpline App” mobile app available at Google Play Store and Apple App Store.

NNN

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