Modi set to win third term in Gujarat, Congress maintains lead in HP

Thursday, December 20, 2012
Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi among his supporters
[File Photo]
Ahmedabad: Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi is all set perform a hat-trick in Gujarat while trends reversed in favour of Congress in Himachal Pradesh where it could wrest power from the saffron party.

Early trends from the counting of votes that begins on Thursday’s morning hinted chief minister Narendra Modi capturing power for the third consecutive term.

Modi is pitted against Congress candidate for the chief minister Shweta Bhatt, wife of suspended IPS officer Sanjeev Bhatt, who has accused Modi of complicity in 2002 communal riots.

Latest projection by several electronic media shows BJP leading in as many as 111 seats while the Congress was leading in 67.

Gujarat recorded an all-time high voter turnout of 70 per cent. Mr Modi and his party the BJP say that's a sign that they will win a big mandate for the third time in a row, bucking conventional wisdom that people turn out to vote in greater numbers when they want a change.

The BJP maintains that a rise in voter turnout in Gujarat has always brought the party gains.

If talks about Himachal Pradesh,  chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal says that he welcomes the decision of people. “Whatever people decide is good. It would be good if they support us, and good even if they don’t. I will welcome the decision of people,” he says.

Fortunes change for Congress in Himachal Pradesh, where it was initially projected as trailing the ruling BJP. At 10:30 a.m., the Congress is leading in 37 seats while the BJP is ahead in 24 in the 68-memmber Assembly. Himachal has a 68-member Assembly in which BJP had won 43 seats in the last elections against Congress’ 16.

In Gujarat - BJP leads 113 seats; Congress leads 63 seats (12:00 p.m.)
Himachal Pradesh- BJP leads 25 seats; Congress 37

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