As mid-day trends emerged around 11am, the BJP was en route significant leads in the three states of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Goa, while the AAP scored big in Punjab.
The ruling BJP was ahead of the Congress in Uttarakhand with its party candidates leading in 33 seats on Thursday, according to early trends available. According to data available on the Election Commission website, the Congress was ahead in 18 seats, the BSP in two seats, the Uttarakhand Janekta party and independent in one each. Prominent candidates trailing in their respective seats include Congress veteran Harish Rawat, who was trailing behind Mohan Singh Bisht of the BJP by 2,713 votes in Lalkuan and Subodh Uniyal of the BJP trailing behind Om Gopal Rawat of the Congress in Narendra Nagar. Yashpal Arya, who had returned to the Congress from the BJP ahead of the polls, was also trailing behind BJP's Rajesh Kumar in Bajpur by 18587 votes.
In Goa, the BJP was leading in 18 seats, the Congress in 12 , MGP in 5, GFP in 1, and the AAP in 1 seat respectively. The ruling BJP is seeking a third straight term in power in the coastal state, while the opposition Congress was hoping for a clear mandate to avoid the fiasco of 2017.
The BJP was leading in 170 seats as against 140 of its nearest rival Samajwadi Party in the initial rounds of counting of votes in Uttar Pradesh. Among those leading included Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath from Gorakhpur, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav from Karhal, Shivpal Yadav from Jaswant Nagar, and Deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya from Sirathu. Counting of votes for the 403 assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh began on Thursday morning with a three-layer security in place and cameras installed at all counting centres. In the initial rounds, postal ballots were counted. According to early trends available from 326 constituencies, the BJP was leading in 170 and the SP in 140 seats. The BSP and the Congress were leading in eight and five seats, respectively. Two candidates of Jansatta Dal, including Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiya in Kunda seat, were leading.
The Aam Aadmi Party took a big lead in Punjab and was ahead in 79 seats out of 117 with several heavyweights, including Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, trailing behind its nominees in many seats, according to early trends. Channi was trailing in both Chamakur Sahib and Bhadaur seats. Former chief ministers Parkash Singh Badal, Amarinder Singh and Rajinder Kaur Bhattal were also trailing. SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal was also behind in his Jalalabad seat. According to data for 107 seats available on the Election Commission website at 9.50 am, the AAP was leading in 79 seats, Congress in 16, SAD in seven, BJP in three, and BSP and Independent one each. Counting of votes for 117 assembly seats in Punjab began on Thursday amid tight security arrangements.
-Inputs from PTI