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Counting begins in 5 states for 'semi-final' assembly polls

December 08, 2008 08:21 IST
Last Updated: December 08, 2008 08:28 IST

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Counting of votes began on Monday for the the just-held assembly elections in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh [Images], Delhi [Images], Chhattisgarh and Mizoram � which are being seen as the 'semi-final' before the Lok Sabha polls are held.

Most of the states where the counting is being held are those where Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party are major contenders for power and the outcome may help gauge the voter mood ahead of the general elections due early next year, although the issues involved would be different.

The final results are expected to be out by the evening.

The fate of stalwarts like Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Bharatiya Janashakti chief Uma Bharti would be decided in Madhya Pradesh which witnessed 60 per cent turnout during elections to the 230-member assembly on November 27.

The poll outcome in Chhattisgarh would decide whether the BJP led by Chief Minister Raman Singh would retain power. Former chief minister Ajit Jogi spearheaded the Congress campaign in the state, where two-phased polls for 90 seats were held on November 14 and 20.

In the national capital, Sheila Dikshit is seeking a hat-trick for her and the Congress while the BJP is hoping to wrest power on anti-incumbency factor. Delhi, with a 70-member House, went to polls on November 29.

The BJP's Vasundhara Raje faces a test to retain power in Rajasthan, where elections to the 200-member assembly held on December 4 saw nearly 68 per cent turnout.

In Mizoram, where polling for the 40-member house was held on November 29, the ruling Mizo National Front, opposition Congress and the United Democratic Alliance have locked horns.

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