BJP leads in Uttar Pradesh, SP-BSP alliance trails

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday took comfortable leads in politically crucial Uttar Pradesh, a state that had catapulted it to a stunning victory in 2014.

The party was leading in 53 of the 80 seats while the SP-BSP-RLD alliance, which was said to emerge as a major force, was forging ahead in 25 seats.

The Congress was leading in just one seat -- Rae Bareli, where UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi contested. In Amethi, BJP's Union Minister Smriti Irani had overtaken Congress President Rahul Gandhi.

The prominent BJP candidates leading in their constituencies in Uttar Pradesh include Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in Lucknow, Varun Gandhi in Pilibhit, Union Minister Mahesh Sharma in Gautam Buddh Nagar, Pravin Nishad in Sant Kabir Nagar, Hema Malini in Mathura, Sakshi Maharaj in Unnao and Ramapati Ram Tripathi in Deoria.

Bhojpuri star Ravi Kishan had established a lead of over 50,000 votes over his nearest rival, Ram Bhual Nishad of Samajadwai Party, in Gorakhpur.

State BJP President Mahendra Nath Pandey, who was trailing in the first three rounds, recovered lost ground and was leading in his constituency Chandauli.

A major upset for the BJP, however, is Ghazipur where Union Minister Manoj Sinha was trailing behind BSP's Afzal Ansari.

For the SP-BSP-RLD alliance, the election trends have brought bad news. 

The BSP is leading in 15 seats and the Samajwadi Party in 10. The alliance has apparently failed to work out the caste arithmetic on the ground.

Samajwadi President Akhilesh Yadav is leading in Azamgarh by 4,234 votes over his nearest rival Bhojpuri star Dinesh Lal Yadav Nirahua.

His wife Dimple Yadav, after trailing in the early rounds, was now leading in Kannauj and party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav was leading in Mainpuri.

SP leader Mohd Azam Khan was leading in Rampur where his rival is Jaya Prada of BJP.

A major upset for the SP is Badaun where Dharmendra Yadav was trailing behind BJP's Sanghmitra Maurya.

BJP leads in Rajasthan, Congress trails

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was leading on 24 of the 25 Lok Sabha seats in Rajasthan, while its ally Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP) was ahead on one seat and the Congress was trailing on all the seats, vote count trends showed on Thursday.

The BJP was leading in Jodhpur, one of the most crucial seats, where Union Minister of State Gajendra Singh Shekhawat was ahead by 68,261 votes, leaving behind Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot's son Vaibhav.

Union Minister of State Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore from Jaipur Rural was leading by 91,493 votes against Congress candidate Krishna Punia.

Rathore told the media: "In Rajasthan, we are leading on all seats and credit for the same goes to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In the last five years, we all worked hard under his leadership and voters hence trusted us. 

"Congress in all these years had shown a bad picture of politics due to which people lost their trust in its working. However, after seeing Modi's work, they have instilled a huge trust in his working."

In Barmer, the BJP's Kailash Chaudhary was leading by 47,750 votes leaving behind Congress candidate Manvendra Singh, who is son of BJP veteran Jaswant Singh. Manvendra had joined the Congress ahead of the 2018 state Assembly elections.

The trend was similar in all the remaining seats.

While speaking to the media, Bikaner MP Arjun Ram Meghwal said that the people have trusted in Prime Minister Narendra Modi in these elections. 

"I pay gratitude to all for giving a winning status to BJP. This election was meant for giving strong government and voters helped us in attaining our objective," he said.

BJP State president Madanlal Saini gave credit to booth workers who according to him ensured that party wins on all seats. 

Congress Pradesh Congress Committee Vice President Archana Sharma said that these are initial rounds. "Lets wait till all rounds of counting are over." 

Counting of votes for the 25 seats began at 8 a.m. The parliamentary elections in the state were held in two phases on April 29 and May 6.

BJP leads in 9 Haryana seats, Congress from Rohtak

Haryana's ruling party BJP was leading in nine out of the 10 Lok Sabha seats in the state, while the Congress was ahead in the Rohtak seat, as per initial trends after the first two hours of counting of ballots.

Union Ministers Rao Inderjit Singh (Gurugram) and Krishan Pal Gurjar (Faridabad) were ahead in their respective constituencies.

Former Chief Minister and Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda was trailing in Sonipat.

However, his son and sitting MP from Rohtak, Deepender Singh Hooda, was leading in Rohtak.

The counting of ballots for all the 10 parliamentary seats of Haryana began amid tight security, electoral officials said.

Amidst allegations of booth capturing, 69.74 per cent of the 1.8 crore electorate in the state cast their vote on May 12 in the sixth phase of the Lok Sabha elections.

The result will decide the fate of 223 candidates, including 11 women.

Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Rajeev Ranjan told IANS there are about 1,05,859 service voters.

He said all preparations had been made for the counting of votes, which will be carried out in 90 counting centres at 39 places.

Director General of Police Manoj Yadava said the state has deployed 10 additional companies of Central Armed Paramilitary Forces to maintain law and order in Rohtak, Sonipat, Jhajjar, Bhiwani, Sirsa and Hisar districts.

It is a do-or-die battle for Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and his predecessor - the "marginalised" Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Congress and Om Prakash Chautala's Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) are the three main parties in the fray.

The stakes are high for Hooda in these elections as he is trying to prove that he is still a mass leader and could lead the Congress in the forthcoming Assembly polls.

Hooda was marginalised after the party's humiliating defeat in the October 2014 Assembly polls held under his helm.

The other big names in the poll fray are former Union Minister Kumari Selja, who is fighting on the Congress ticket from Ambala, a reserved seat.

The BJP's Rao Inderjit Singh is contesting from Gurugram, while former Congress state minister Ajay Yadav is pitted against him.

Union Minister Krishan Pal Gujjar, who won the Faridabad seat in 2014 with a huge 4.7 lakh margin, is vying to retain the seat. He is facing a challenge from former Congress MP Avtar Singh Bhadana and AAP state chief Navin Jaihind.

Former Chief Minister Chautala's grandsons -- Arjun, Dushyant and Digvijay -- are making their debut in electoral politics.

Arjun and Digvijay Chautala are trying their luck from Kurukshetra and Sonipat seats respectively as candidates of the INLD and the Jannayak Janata Party (JJP), a breakaway INLD faction.

The JJP and the AAP have formed an alliance.

A triangular clash of dynasts going to be witnessed in Hisar where Dushyant Chautala, who leads the JJP, is struggling to retain his seat. He is pitted against debutants Bhavya Bishnoi of the Congress and BJP's bureaucrat-turned-politician Brijendra Singh.

While Bhavya, the youngest in the fray, is the grandson of late three-time Chief Minister Bhajan Lal, Brijendra Singh is the son of Congress turncoat and Steel Minister Birender Singh.