Lotus wilts, power still in Manmohan's 'hands'

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New Delhi:The UPA is all set to retain power at the centre as its nearing to clear majority in the Parliament. UPA is just short of 16 seats for a clear majority in the Lok sabha. Congress is leading in 200 seats.The NDA was leading in 160 seats with BJP ahead in 119 seats.

Manmohan Singh will be the first Prime Minister after Jawaharlal Nehru to return to power after a full five-year term with the Congress having nominated him as its candidate for the top post, first time it had done in its history.

The Congress performance was brilliant in Kerala where it routed the Left Front and dealt a severe blow to the 'reds' in West Bengal with help from ally Trinamool Congress.

Congress also swept Delhi, did exceedingly well in Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab, Uttarakhand and more than doubled its tally in UP leading in 20 of the 80 seats there.

The BJP has conceded defeat and said the party had performed below expectation and the mandate of the people was in favour of the Congress-led UPA alliance. "It has become clear that Congress and the alliance led by it has emerged as the largest coalition...though there was no clear majority," BJP general secretary Arun Jaitley told reporters here.

BJP spokes Jaitley said the BJP honoured the mandate of the people with "due respect". Commenting on performance of the party, he said "we performed well in some places but we performed below expectation in some

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