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Updated: March 6, 2012 09:58 IST

Assembly polls: counting of votes begins

PTI
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District Magistrate, Kaushal Raj Sharma (left) inspecting a counting centre, at Mandi, in Pilibhit on Monday. Photo: Ajit Gaur
The Hindu District Magistrate, Kaushal Raj Sharma (left) inspecting a counting centre, at Mandi, in Pilibhit on Monday. Photo: Ajit Gaur

The counting of votes in the Assembly elections to the five states of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa —— considered some sort of a semi-final before the next general elections —— began on Tuesday morning amidst tight security.

Elections were held in a total of 690 assembly seats —— 403 in UP, 117 seats in Punjab, 70 in Uttarakhand, 60 in Manipur and 40 in Goa —— in a span of over a month.

The results are likely to have a bearing at the national level as Congress faces one controversy after another and is looking forward to salvage its image while the opposition treats it as an occasion to test the grounds ahead of 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

Congress faces an uphill task in reviving its fortunes in the Mayawat-—ruled Uttar Pradesh where its campaign was led from the front by Rahul Gandhi.

Congress is contesting 357 seats in the state out of 403 seats where it won 22 seats in the 2007 state polls.

The ruling BSP, which won 206 in last elections, in UP has contested all 403 seats, SP 402, BJP 398 and RLD 46. Exit polls have predicted a hung assembly in the state with the SP showed as cornering the major chunk of seats.

In 2007 polls, SP had got 97 seats, BJP 50 and RLD, which contested in alliance with BJP won 10 seats. Independents and others had got 17 seats.

In Punjab, Congress, led by former Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh is hopeful of returning to power by ousting the BJP-Shiromani Akali Dal combine.

Congress is contesting all 117 seats here, while SAD 94 and BJP 23. In the last election SAD had won 50 seats, Congress 42, BJP 19 and independents 06.

BJP, which ruled Uttarakhand through a simple majority by winning 36 of 70 seats in last elections, faces a tough challenge this time.

BJP, Congress and BSP are contesting all the 70 seats here. Congress had won 20 seats in last elections and BSP 08.

Uttarakhand Kranti Dal, which had won three seats in the last assembly election is contesting on 52 seats. Three seats had gone to independents in the last election.

Similarly in Manipur, Congress had got a simple majority in last assembly election winning 31 of the total 60 seats while Manipur People’s Party had won five, NCP and CPI four each, National People’s Party and Lalu Prasad’s RJD three each. Independents had bagged a whopping 10 seats.

Goa, in which Congress has its government headed by Digambar Kamat, is a state, where post poll formulations matter as much as the poll itself.

Congress looks poised for a pitched battle with BJP. Both the Congress and the BJP have entered into alliances ——— Congress with the NCP and BJP with the MGP.

Congress had won 16 seats, BJP 14, NCP 03, and MGP, SGF and independents 02 each. UGDP had won only one seat. This time also it is expected to be a photo finish between the two alliances.

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