Counting of votes in 5 states begins

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New Delhi, Dec 8: Counting of votes began on Monday, Dec 8 for the just-held assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram. These elections are viewed as the semi-final for the upcoming Lok Sabha Polls.

The major contenders in most of the states where counting is underway is Congress party and Bhartiya Janata Party. The outcome may help gauge the voter mood ahead of the General elections due early in 2009 although issues involved would be different. The final results are expected to be out by today evening.

The fate of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouchan and Uma Bharati, the Bhartiya Janashakti supremo will be decided in Madhya Pradesh. The MP polls which was held on Nov 27 witnessed a 60 pc voter turnout.

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 campaign for Congress in the state, where two-phased polls for 90 seats were held on Nov 14 and 20.

Results show that the two time Chief Minister of New Delhi is all set to gain Hat-Trick for her and Congress party, while the BJP is hoping to wrest power on anti-incumbency factor. Delhi has 70-member House and went to polls on Nov 29.

Early results show that Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje is trailing and Congress is set to emerge as the single largest party in Rajasthan. Elections were held for the 200-member assembly on Dec 4 which saw nearly 68 pc turnout.

In Mizoram, where polling for the 40-member House was held on Nov 29, ruling Mizo National Front, opposition Congress and the United Democratic Alliance are locking horns.

OneIndia News (With inputs from Agencies)

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