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Counting of votes begins in Haryana, Maharashtra

ANI | Updated: Oct 24, 2019 08:36 IST

New Delhi [India], Oct 24 (ANI): Counting of votes for assembly polls in Haryana and Maharashtra began on Thursday morning 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 (EVMs) 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.
BJP 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.

Congress, on the other hand, is contesting the polls in alliance with Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in Maharashtra.
In both the states, stakes are high for Congress, which could not do well in the Lok Sabha elections earlier this year and also for the BJP, which is incumbent in the two states.
The assembly poll results will also be crucial for the NCP in Maharashtra, which is an ally of Congress, as also for parties such as Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, AIMIM and 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 (JJP). The BSP 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 wins Haryana again and returns to power with Shiv Sena in Maharashtra.
During the campaign period, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister and BJP chief Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi were among the national leaders who campaigned in the two states. NCP chief Sharad Pawar campaigned extensively in Maharashtra.

The assembly elections are the first after the BJP-led government's decision to repeal Article 370. A verdict in its favour will give a boost to the party ahead of the winter session of Parliament next month.

A victory will also keep the political momentum with the BJP after its emphatic victory in the Lok Sabha polls earlier this year under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi.

The polls are crucial for Congress which has faced desertions after its second successive debacle in the Lok Sabha polls. A strong performance in both states will help the party in its process of electoral revival.

The BJP has already declared that incumbent chief ministers - Manohar Lal Khattar and Devendra Fadnavis - will continue to lead their respective state governments in Haryana and Maharashtra if the party is voted back to power. (ANI)