Counting of votes for assembly polls in Haryana and Maharashtra began on Thursday with the electoral fate of over 4,400 candidates hanging in the balance.
The electoral fate of 1,169 candidates in Haryana and 3,237 candidates in Maharashtra is sealed in electronic voting machines by the voters, who had exercised their franchise in the assembly elections on October 21.
In Haryana, 19,578 polling stations were set up whereas there were 96,661 polling booths in Maharashtra for citizens to cast their ballot.
The Bharatiya Janata Party is contesting 150 seats in 288-member Maharashtra assembly while its ally Shiv Sena had fielded 124 candidates.
The remaining seats were left for smaller allies.
The Congress, on the other hand, is contesting the polls in alliance with Nationalist Congress Party in Maharashtra.
In both the states, stakes are high for the Congress, which could not do well in the Lok Sabha elections earlier this year.
The assembly poll results will also be crucial for the NCP in Maharashtra as also for parties such as th eMaharashtra Navnirman Sena, the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen and the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi.
In Haryana also, the battle is crucial for regional players such as the Indian National Lok Dal and the Jannayak Janata Party.
The Bahujan Samaj Party has also fielded candidates in the two states.
Most exit polls have predicted a clear victory for the BJP both in Maharashtra and in Haryana, even though they have differed in their projection on the number of seats.
The BJP will create history if it again wins Haryana and returns to power with Shiv Sena in Maharashtra.