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|October 6, 1999||
BJP inching towards majority
The Bharatiya Janata Party is inching its way to a majority.
The party has so far won 101 Lok Sabha seats while the Congress has bagged 48. The Left Front and others have won 13 seats.
The BJP alliance is leading in 185 Lok Sabha seats while the Congress and its allies are leading in 87. The Left and other parties are leading in 90 seats.
The BJP has swept Delhi as counting picked up for the 13th Lok Sabha today. The party has also made impressive gains in Haryana.
However, the party has suffered reverses in Punjab, where the Congress is making significant gains.
In Uttar Pradesh, the BJP alliance leads in 24 seats, the Congress alliance 10, the Samajwadi Party 23 and the Bahujan Samaj Party 14. The popular vote in UP is: the BJP has gone 32.8 per cent of the vote, -4.6 per cent. The BSP got 18.41 per cent. The Congress has 19.6 per cent, +13.1; the Samajwadi Party has got 20.9 per cent, down 7 per cent.
In Bihar, the BJP alliance leads in 15, the Congress alliance 11 and others one.
In Maharashtra, the BJP alliance is ahead in 24 seats, the Congress and its allies 11, and others in five.
In Andhra Pradesh, the BJP-Telugu Desam Party combine is ahead in 34 seats, the Congress alliance in six and others three.
In West Bengal, the BJP and its allies lead in 11 seats, the Congress one while the Left Front was were ahead in 30.
In Madhya Pradesh, the BJP alliance leads in 27 seats, the Congress and its allies 12 and others one.
In Tamil Nadu, the BJP alliance has leads in 24 seats, the Congress and its allies 14 and the others six.
The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazagham has won two seats in Tamil Nadu.
According to rediff.com columnist Monu Nalapat, "The central fact of this election is that neither Vajpayee nor Sonia Gandhi appears to have enthused the electorate on anything like the scale in which they won over the media."
According to K R Malkani of the BJP, "The old antipathy towards the BJP is gone. They now realise that the Congress has been frightening them for nothing. They have seen with their own eyes that, under the BJP, the country has been riot-free."
Senior Congress leader Arjun Singh said, "The Congress is consciously trying to erase the caste configurations that have come to vitiate our polity. The Congress never believed in caste-based politics. In the last one year, Mrs Gandhi has succeeded in substantially tackling this problem. The results are there for everyone to see. We are winning."
But Congress general secretary Oscar Fernandes admitted that Delhi had been a disappointment for the Congress.
"The people's expectations were very high, in the wake of assembly elections vis-a-vis civic problems like water, etc. It is not possible to solve these problems overnight. Even educated people agree that these problems need three to five years. It is the people's expectations that seem to have harmed the Congress in Delhi," he said.
Jagdish Shettigar of the BJP also was very optimistic.
"The overall position is likely to be around 300 if the present trend continues, and we will be able to provide a stable government for the next five years, implementing all the policy measures as per our thinking," he said.
Anil Shastri of the Congress asserted that the Congress would be the single largest party but admitted that Dr Manmohan Singh's defeat was a surprise.
"And so has been the defeat of Ms Meira Kumar and Mr Tytler who has lost by a narrow margin of 1,900 votes against the BJP stalwart M L Khurana," he said.
"It is too early to say what will happen. Trends, so far, are from metro cities where the BJP always had a stronghold. But I am certain the Congress position will improve as results keep pouring in," said Congress secretary Imran Kidwai.
The BSP has made impressive gains in Uttar Pradesh even as Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav is trailing in Kannauj. He is, however, leading in Sambhal.
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