The Election Commission is set to declare the results for the Haryana and Maharashtra assembly elections, which took place on October 21, on Thursday. The Election Commission will begin the counting of votes at 8am and the final results will be declared by the evening.
Counting of votes will also be held on Thursday for the bypolls in 51 assembly seats and two Lok Sabha constituencies spread across 18 states where by-elections were held two days ago. The BJP and its allies held nearly 30 of these assembly seats, while the Congress had won 12 and the rest were with regional parties.
In both the states of Maharashtra and Haryana, the BJP is seeking to retain power, with hopes buoyed by exit polls indicating an easy victory. Besides, these were the first major elections after the BJP retained power in the Lok Sabha polls in May, winning 303 seats of the 543.
The voter turnout for the assembly elections showed a slump as Maharashtra polled 63 percent votes while Haryana scored 65 per cent, a sharp decline from 76.54% in the 2014 Assembly polls.
While most exit polls projected a comfortable victory for the BJP in Haryana’s 90 assemble seats, one predicted a close fight between the saffron party and the Congress with the Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) likely to play kingmaker. In Maharashtra, exit polls have predicted a clear majority for the BJP-led alliance, comprising the Shiv Sena and other parties in the 288-member Assembly.
Date of Assembly Election Results for Maharashtra and Haryana: October 24 (Thursday)
Counting of votes: The Election Commission will commence counting of votes at 8am on Thursday and the result is expected to be declared by 5pm.
Main Parties Contesting in Haryana: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Indian National Congress (INC), the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and Jannayak Janata Party (JJP). Shiromani Akali Dal is also contesting from three seats.
Major Parties Contesting in Maharashtra: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Shiv Sena, Congress and Nationalist Congress party (NCP).
Poll Issues: The BJP had made the nullification of Article 370 and nationalism major poll issues in both Haryana and Maharashtra and told the voters that both the Khattar and Fadnavis governments had provided a clean and transparent administration in their respective tenures.
On the contrary, the Congress and other opposition parties targeted the BJP government over unemployment, law and order and the condition of farmers.
Campaigning: In Maharashtra, while experts called the Congress’ campaigns “dull”, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) led by Sharad Pawar held passionate rallies in the run-up to the assembly elections.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, party chief and Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, too, participated in Maharashtra.
In Haryana, the BJP is likely to zoom past the halfway mark, bagging 75 seats in the 90-seat Assembly. Congress may come down from 15 to 10 seats, but the biggest setback may come for the INLD which may be wiped out altogether.