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Madhya Pradesh polls: Cong has last laugh in nail-biting contest

Madhya Pradesh polls: Cong has last laugh in nail-biting contest
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Bhopal: A dozen ministers in the Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led BJP government in Madhya Pradesh were trailing in the state Assembly polls as per the latest trends, an election official said Tuesday.

Minister Narottam Mishra was trailing by a margin of 6,200 votes in Datia while Rustam Singh was at the third position in Morena constituency.

Balkrishna Patidar was trailing in Khargone by a margin of 3,792 votes, while Lal Singh Arya was lagging behind by 6,552 votes in Gohad seat in Bhind district.

Minister Om Prakash Dhurve was trailing by a margin of 8,255 votes in Shahpura seat of Dindori district while Antar Singh Arya was trailing by 3,626 votes in Sendhwa seat of Barwani district.

Deepak Joshi was behind by 3,070 votes in Hatpipliya seat in Dewas district, while Rampal Singh was trailing by 3,063 votes in Silvani seat in Raisen district.

Minister Archana Chitnis was also trailing in Burhanpur seat by a margin of 1,055 votes.

State finance minister Jayant Mallaiya was behind by 1,336 votes in Damoh seat.

Another minister, Sharad Jain, was trailing by a margin of 7,958 votes in Jabalpur North seat and Jaibhan Singh Pawaiya by 5,489 votes in Gwalior seat.

Former prime minister late Atal Bihari Vajpayee's nephew and Morena BJP MP Anoop Mishra, who contested the election on the BJP's ticket, was trailing from Bhitarwar seat in Gwalior district by 2,255 votes, an election official said.

Leader of Opposition in the Madhya Pradesh Assembly Ajay Singh was also trailing by a margin of 3,032 votes from Churhat seat in Satna district.

Contrary to exit poll predictions that gave the Congress a clear edge in Assembly elections, the Congress and the ruling BJP were involved in a nail-biting contest for power on Tuesday.

As officials counted millions of votes polled in the November 28 election, trends from centres where the votes were counted put the Congress ahead of the BJP at times and the BJP ahead of the Congress at other times, keeping everyone guessing.

Both Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders claimed they were poised to win a majority in the 230-seat Madhya Pradesh Assembly. The BJP has ruled Madhya Pradesh, like Chhattisgarh, for 15 long years.

The first trends from postal ballots put the BJP candidates in the lead before reversing the trend and putting the Congress ahead of others.

Then began a see-saw battle, making it a nail-biting fight.

Post noon, the Congress again surged ahead of the BJP, with 115 seats to its credit compared to 105 of the BJP.

Thousands of BJP and Congress activists were gathered in all counting centres, cheering every time their candidate took the lead.

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