As the crucial counting of votes began in the assembly elections across four states, early trends showed the Bharatiya Janata Party taking an early lead in Rajasthan, while the Congress had an edge over its rivals in Telangana and Madhya Pradesh.
In Rajasthan, the BJP was leading in 13 seats, while the incumbent Congress was ahead in 5 seats.
In the central state of Madhya Pradesh, initial trends pointed to the Congress extending its lead in 18 seats, maintaining a narrow edge over the ruling BJP, which was leading in 13 seats.
Meanwhile, in Telangana, ruled by the BRS, the Congress emerged as an early front-runner, leading in 7 seats, while the ruling party was ahead in 6 seats, suggesting a closely contested battle for supremacy.
Election results for Mizoram, which also went to the polls in this election cycle, will be declared a day later, respecting the Christian-majority state's observance of Sunday.
These assembly polls -- spanning the Hindi heartland, the country’s youngest state, and one of the Seven Sisters in the Northeast -- are more than just a test of regional political strength; they are a precursor to the national elections that loom on the horizon.
With the stakes higher than ever, the outcomes are bound to influence strategies and alliances as political parties big and small gear up for the 2024 Lok Sabha showdown.
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