Gandhinagar: Gujarat’s ruling BJP and the main opposition Congress were locked in a neck and neck contest as officials counted the millions of votes polled in the just ended Assembly elections.
Trends from counting centres across the state put Bharatiya Janata Party candidates ahead in 88 seats while Congress nominees were forging ahead in 72 constituencies. The Gujarat Assembly has 182 seats.
Early trends showed the BJP ahead right from the time the vote count began at 8 a.m. But the Congress began to catch up as the counting progressed across the state.
Both the BJP and the Congress claimed they were confident of winning in Gujarat.
“We are going to form a government in Gujarat. People have voted for us on development issues,” BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain told the media.
Congress spokesperson Shobha Oza said: “People have got sick and tired of the 22 years of BJP misrule in Gujarat. The Gujarat model which the BJP touted so proudly to take power nationally is not clicking in Gujarat… We are confident we will form the government.”
It was the first Assembly election in Gujarat since Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister in 2014. Modi had led the BJP to victory in the election in 2012.