Ahmedabad: BJP surged ahead of challenger Congress in Gujarat in 109 of 175 seats, with Chief Minister Narendra Modi leading from Maninagar but both state Congress chief and leader of Opposition trailing their rivals.
State Congress president Arjun Modhwadia and Leader of Opposition Shaktisinh Gohil were trailing in Porbandar and Bhavnagar(rural) seats respectively.

Keshubhai Patel, a former chief minister and Gujarat Parivartan Party president, who broke away from BJP months ahead of the elections, is leading from Visavadar.

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Modi's right hand man Amit Shah, accused in alleged fake encounters of Sohrabhuddin Sheikh and Tulsiram Prajapati, is leading from Naranpura.

Another Modi confidante and minister Anandiben Patel was leading in Ghatlodia, but minister and state government spokesman Jaynarayan Vyas was trailing in Siddhpur.
Jagruti Pandya, wife of slain BJP leader, Haren Pandya, locked in a 'revenge' fight in Ellis Bridge seat, is trailing her BJP rival. Pandya's family had blamed Modi for the murder of Haren Pandya, who was twice elected from the seat.
Trends from 7 RPT 7 constituencies are still awaited.

Sources in the state election office said BJP was leading in 109 constituencies, Congress in 61, NCP one and others in four.
While BJP had won 117 seats in 2007 polls, Congress had bagged 59.

Himachal Pradesh

Meanwhile, the Congress forged ahead of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Himachal Pradesh as officials counted tens of thousands of votes polled in last month's state election.

After two hours of vote count that began at 8 am, the BJP was trailing the Congress. BJP candidates seemed to be on the winning track in 23 constituencies compared to 37 of the Congress.

Trends were available for 65 of the state's 68 constituencies. But pundits said the race to control the 68-member assembly was still open. No result had been declared yet. Congress veteran and former chief minister Virbhadra Singh was confident his party would oust the BJP.

"We are very confident of forming a government," he told the media. BJP Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal was initially supremely confident of retaining power but then gave a cautious comment, "We did our best, and let us see who will form the government."

Among the political veterans who were trailing were seven-time legislator Vidya Stokes of the Congress and former Congress state chief Kaul Singh.BJP state leader Satpal Satti was also trailing, officials said.

The fate of 459 candidates, including 106 independents, will be decided during the day. Nearly 74 percent of the 4.6 million electors exercised their franchise Nov 4. It was an all-time record for assembly polls in the hill state.

The Himachal Lokhit Party (HLP), formed under the leadership of BJP rebel and four-time former MP Maheshwar Singh, and the CPI-M are giving a tough fight to both main political parties on more than five seats.

In 2007, the BJP won 41 seats, the Congress 23, the Bahujan Samaj Party one and independents three. The BSP legislator later joined the BJP.


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