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    NEW DELHI: All eyes are on the outcome of the fiercely contested electoral battle in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Telangana – which have been dubbed as the semi-finals ahead of the Lok Sabha elections next year.
    The counting of votes in the 4 states will start today at 8am and the Election Commission has ensured that all arrangements are in place for the D-day. Mizoram, which also voted in this round of assembly elections, will have to wait till December 4 for the results as the Election Commission has extended counting in the state by a day.
    Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Chhattisgarh witnessed a classic BJP vs Congress clash with both parties going all out to gain a foothold in the Hindi heartland states to ensure they get a headstart for the Lok Sabha polls.

    Assembly Election Exit Poll Results: BJP leads in MP & Rajasthan, Congress holds strong in Chhattisgarh & Telangana

    In Telangana, the BJP and Congress gave a tough contest to the ruling TRS, which contested hard for a consecutive third term in the state.
    Mizoram saw a three-way contest between the ruling MNF, Congress, and the ZPM.
    Voting was held in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, and Mizoram on different dates in November. Voting was held in a single phase in all the states, except Chhattisgarh, which conducted polling in two phases.
    Stakes high for BJP, Congress
    The stakes are very high for the two national parties since the results in the five states will set the tone for the Lok Sabha election next year.
    The elections are crucial for Congress since it is looking to retain power in both Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh and wrest control of Madhya Pradesh from the rival BJP.
    Meanwhile, the BJP is hoping to hold on to its fort in Madhya Pradesh and return to power in the other two states. It is also hoping to gain some ground in Telangana, where TRS has been the dominant party for the last decade.
    In Mizoram, both Congress and ZPM are looking to give a tough fight to the ruling MNF, which stormed to power in the 2018 elections.
    What did the exit polls predict?
    The Congress and the BJP are likely to share the honors in this round of crucial assembly elections, with the exit polls predicting the grand old party in Telangana and Chhattisgarh while the saffron party may win in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
    In Madhya Pradesh, the BJP has a clear edge over the Congress. According to the poll of exit polls, the BJP may win 124 seats while the Congress could win 103 seats.
    In Chhattisgarh, the Congress is ahead in a cliffhanger contest with the poll of polls predicting 50 seats for the grand old party while the BJP may win 38.
    In Rajasthan, exit polls predict the BJP ahead of the ruling Congress. The BJP is predicted to win 104 seats while the Congress could win 85. If these numbers prove true, Ashok Gehlot could be on his way out.
    Telangana could see the Congress getting close to forming a government for the first time in the state. The polls of exit polls predict 60 seats for the Congress while the BRS could win 48. The BJP may win 5, and the AIMIM 6.
    Counting of votes at 8 am
    Starting with postal ballots, counting will commence at 8 am amid tight security for 230 seats in Madhya Pradesh, 90 seats in Chhattisgarh, 119 seats in Telangana, and 199 seats in Rajasthan as polling on one seat in the desert state was put off due to the death of a candidate.

    A three-tier security arrangement has been put in place, and only people holding valid passes will be allowed to enter the counting centers, election officials said.
    2018 assembly elections
    In the last assembly elections, the Congress had won 114 seats, and the BJP was close behind with 109 seats in Madhya Pradesh. The Congress formed the government under Kamal Nath with the help of smaller parties and independents. However, a rebellion led by Jyotiraditya Scindia derailed the Congress government, and the BJP returned to power with the help of rebel Congress leaders.
    In Chhattisgarh, the Congress won the 2018 assembly elections with a thumping majority, bagging 68 out of the 90 assembly seats. The BJP could manage to win only 15 after three terms of power in the state.
    In the 2018 assembly elections in Rajasthan, the Congress won 99 seats while the BJP won 73. Ashok Gehlot became the chief minister with the support of BSP MLAs and independents.
    In the last assembly elections in 2018, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi won a landslide, bagging 88 seats out of 119. The Congress could win only 19, and the BJP 1. The AIMIM, which won 7 seats in 2018, is contesting these elections in alliance with the TRS, which is now known as the Bharat Rashtra Samithi.Watch Election results 2023: Will Congress’ ‘Lehar’ sweep BJP’s stronghold in Madhya Pradesh?

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