Counting begins, BJP takes early lead

Counting begins, BJP takes early lead

Counting begins, BJP takes early lead

A tense day awaits political parties as coun­ting of votes for the Maharashtra and Haryana Assembly polls will begin early on Sunday.

With exit polls indicating that the BJP will emerge as the single largest party, but might fall short of majority, the ruling party at the Centre has kept windows open for last-minute adjustments in both states.

The mood in the Congress camp is not as upbeat after exit polls strongly indicated that their regimes in Maharashtra, formed in alliance with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), and in Haryana are facing a strong anti-incumbency factor, reflected in the high turnout in both the states. The Congress ruled for 15 years in Maharashtra and a decade in Haryana

The Shiv Sena, which split from the BJP over differences on seat sharing agreement, has softened its stand on the post-poll alliance in Maharashtra.

After an editorial in party’s mouthpiece “Saamna”, Sena leader Sanjay Raut told a news channel on Saturday that “in the interest of Maharashtra, we can go with anyone who supports us, even if we don't agree with their philosophy”.

They are open to even having a truck with their arch-rival, the NCP, whose senior leaders have indicated that the party would play a major role in government formation.
After Tuesday’s polling, senior BJP leaders had expressed confidence that they would get absolute majority despite contesting alone.

The BJP leaders, too, have indicated that they are not averse to having an understanding with smaller parties in case they fail to go beyond the halfway mark of 144 in Maharastra and 45 in Haryana.

In Haryana, the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), too, has expressed confidence of forming the government as party chief O P Chautala’s grandson and MP Dushyant Chautala has claimed that they will win at least 40 seats, bringing them in touching distance of forming the government.

The BJP is waiting for the results to decide on chief ministerial candidates for both the states. However, different leaders have staked claim to become the face of their party if they come to power.

Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, who claimed that he was not keen on occupying the post, BJP Maharastra unit chief Devendra Fadnavis, Vinod Tawade, Eknath Khadse and Pankaja Munde are lobbying for the top post.

In Haryana, Capt Abhimanyu, state unit president Ram Bilash Sharma, who is close to the RSS, Union Ministers Krishna Pal Gujjar and Rao Inderjit Singh, party’s Kisan Morcha cell president Om Prakash Dhankhar and Manohar Lal Khattar are all aspiring for the post.