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J&K, J’khand to get poll verdict today

Counting of votes in Assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir will be taken up on Tuesday even as Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s tweet slamming the UPA government for not conferring the Bharat Ratna on former Prime Minister and BJP stalwart Atal Bihari Vajpayee created a buzz. As political parties work on strategies and possible alliances in the light of two exit polls projecting a hung house in J&K, Omar downplayed his tweet on Vajpayee on Sunday and said nothing much be read into it.
The National Conference(NC) leader asserted that it was “inconceivable” for his party to go with the BJP.

“Don’t read much into that (tweet),” Omar told reporters, shortly after another tweet in which he said, “Those of you who think parties base alliance decisions on one tweet clearly don’t know how things work.”

The Congress latched on to Omar’s attack on the party over the Bharat Ratna issue in his tweet on Sunday, and raised questions whether the NC was warming up to BJP. Congress leader Rajiv Shukla said Omar’s father Farooq Abdullah was in the UPA government and claimed that the NC never brought a proposal for conferring the country’s highest civilian honour on Vajpayee.

In Jharkhand, BJP and JMM had won 18 seats each in the last election. Congress had 13, JVN(P) had 11, AJSU had six, RJD five and JD(U) two. “All arrangements have been made for the counting at 24 centres across the State,” an EC official said in Ranchi.

Chief Minister Hemant Soren (Dumka/Barhait) and ex-Chief Ministers Arjun Munda (Kharsawan), Madhu Koda (Majhgaon) and Babulal Marandi (Dhanwar/Giridih) are among the total 1,136 candidates, including 111 women, whose fate will be known on Tuesday.

No post-poll alliance with BJP, says Omar
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Monday ruled out post-poll alliance with BJP given its stand on issues like Article 370, Uniform Civil Code and Babri Masjid as also with any other party. Talking to reporters on the eve of results to the 87- member state assembly, he said, “Clearly, no single party is going to form a government on its own. What remains to be seen is how close to these so-called exit polls, the actual number stacks up.”  Omar further said “In the Parliament elections, I held three assembly constituencies -- all 3 in Srinagar. Two of them were hit by floods. If we extrapolate that result with the resultant post-flood anger, perhaps I should have only one constituency,” he said.

BJP confident of forming govt 
A day ahead of the counting of votes for elections in Jammu and Kashmir, the state unit of BJP on Monday expressed confidence over the party forming the next government in the state. Expressing gratitude to the people of the state who came out in large numbers to vote, BJP’s state media in-charge Arun Kumar Gupta said, “The BJP is thankful to voters and we are confident that we will form the next government in the state.”  He said the turnout of voters in the recently concluded assembly elections overshadowed the poll boycott call given by the militant and separatist outfits. “People clearly defied the dictates by the militant outfits that wanted people to boycott the polls. ,” he said.
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