SP set to rule UP; shocker for Cong in Punjab

Mulayam Singh Yadav
New Delhi, Mar 6: Samajwadi Party appears set to rule Uttar Pradesh after dethroning Mayawati, according to official trends of vote counting in five states in the Assembly elections which also indicate that Akali Dal-BJP combine might retain Punjab while Congress Manipur.

Goa is set to see a change of government with BJP ousting Congress and Uttarakhand witnessing a neck and neck race between ruling BJP and opposition Congress.

Mulayam Singh-led SP was ahead in 196 seats, just six short of majority in the 403-member Assembly in which the ruling BSP has been reduced to 91 from 206 it held in the outgoing House.

SP, in the revival of whose fortunes Mulayam Singh's son Akhilesh Yadav is said to have played a major role, is emerging the single largest party, inches away from the half-way mark of 202.

It may not need the support of parties like Congress which is leading in 34 seats, up from 22. The BJP is ahead in 49 seats while Congress ally RLD is ahead in 11. 'Others' are ahead in 16 seats.

The shock for Congress came from Punjab, which it was widely expected to wrest from Akali Dal-BJP combine. The ruling coalition has won 16 seats and was ahead in 49 of the 117 seats, five more than simple majority.

However, the hill-state of Uttarakhand appeared to be a cliff-hanger with BJP and Congress equally placed.

Congress was ahead in 30 seats while BJP has won one seat and was ahead in 29 seats. BSP was leading in four seats while MGP was ahead in one seat.

BJP appeared to oust Congress from power in Goa as it hs won eight seats and was leading in four while its partner MGP has won one seat.

Congress won four seats and leading two while its ally NCP was leading in one. 'Others' won four seats and were leading in three.

Manipur came as the only solace for the Congress as it is set to return to power for the third consecutive term.

Congress won 11 seats and was leading in six while LJP and Trinamool Congress won one seat each. Naga People's Front had won two and was leading in one.


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