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|October 7, 1999||
Congress in Karnataka, TDP-BJP in AP, but it is a hung assembly in Maharashtra
After a five-year gap, the Congress stormed back to power in Karnataka, but the ruling Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party alliance was maintaining its lead in the Maharashtra assembly elections and the ruling Telugu Desam Party was on course for a comfortable majority in Andhra Pradesh.
The ruling Congress was only one seat short of a two-third majority in the 60-member Arunachal Pradesh assembly at noon.
Karnataka Chief Minister J H Patel resigned after the rout of the Janata Dal-United in the assembly election. Patel, who was defeated in his home constituency of Chennagiri, submitted the resignation of his council of ministers to Governor Khurshed Alam Khan.
The ruling Sena-BJP alliance in Maharashtra had bagged 46 of the 111 results declared so far in the 288-member Maharashtra assembly and was leading in 77 constituencies.
The Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party were moving neck and neck securing 31 and 29 seats. The Congress was leading in 46, while the NCP in 34 seats.
Capitalising on strong anti-incumbency waves and confusion in the BJP-Janata Dal combine, the Congress romped back to power in Karnataka winning 132 of the 223 seats for which results have been declared so far.
The Congress will be running the administration from the Vidhana Soudha after a gap of five years. The results which came as a rude shock to the NDA and the Janata Dal-Secular leaders also defied the projections of various exit polls conducted in the state.
Despite two of the BJP's top leaders in the state biting the dust, the party improved upon its position winning 44 seats.
The Janata Dal-United won 19 while the Janata Dal-Secular bagged eight. The AIADMK lost Gandhinagar, but regained the KGF seat. Rebels did well as 19 independents emerged victorious in the elections.
The results set in motion behind-the-scene activities in the Congress circles. All India Congress Committee general secretary in charge of Karnataka, Ghulam Nabi Azad, held discussions with state unit president S M Krishna.
Though the Congress had not projected anybody as the chief minister, many of the leaders have expressed their willingness to don the mantle.
Former chief minister S Bangarappa, who has been elected to Parliament from Shimoga, and leader of the opposition in the dissolved assembly Mallikarjuna Kharge were among those who offered to head the government.
The name of former railway minister C K Jaffer Sharief too was mentioned as a possible compromise candidate.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Narayan Rane has won from his home constituency of Malwan in Sindhudurg district, defeating his nearest Congress rival Nandkumar Shridhar Sawant by a margin of 27,310 votes, while Deputy Chief Minister Gopinath Munde has established a comfortable lead of more than 14,000 votes in his home constituency Renapur in Beed district over his nearest NCP rival T P Munde.
Among the NCP winners, former minister of state for energy Ajit Pawar, nephew of former defence minister and party president Sharad Pawar, retained his Baramati assembly seat defeating by a huge margin of 50,368 votes his nearest rival Chanderrao Taware (independent).
Senior NCP leader Sudhakarrao Naik and party candidate Dr Vimal Mundada were leading in Pusad and Kaij constituencies respectively.
In Arunachal Pradesh, the Congress bagged 39 of the 45 seats declared so far, giving away only four seats to the newly floated NCP and one each to the Arunachal Congress and the independents. The BJP failed to open its account in this north-eastern tribal state.
In Sikkim, Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling's Sikkim Democratic Front has not only increased its tally by five but managed to uproot its arch rivals the Sikkim Sangram Parishad and the Congress.
Nar Bahadur Bhandari's SSP could only manage seven seats - three less than the last election -- and the Congress was yet to open its account.
The last nail in the SSP's coffin was hammered when its chief Bhandari was defeated in his home Soreng constituency in west Sikkim. Bhandari had been representing the seat since his initiaton in electoral politics in 1975.
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