Indicating a reversal of exit poll predictions, Gujarat's ruling BJP and the main opposition Congress were on Monday seen locked in a tough fight for the finish as officials counted millions of votes in the just ended Assembly elections.
It has been a rollercoaster of sorts in trends from 37 counting centres where counting of votes began at 8 am today.
Trailing initially after the vote count began at 8 a.m., Congress candidates slowly inched ahead of the Bharatiya Janata Party, trends from the counting centres showed.
The BJP was ahead in 78 seats and the Congress in 88, Election Commission officials said. The Gujarat Assembly has 182 seats.
However, trends after six rounds of counting show BJP making a comeback and has crossed the half way mark. However, these are only projections and the tally could change as counting progresses.
Trends at 10 am showed BJP leading at 107, the Congress at 71 and others at 4.
In a surprising development, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani (Rajkot West) and Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel (Mehsana) were trailing to their Congress opponents.
However, the leaders made a comeback and were leading from their respective seats.
Overjoyed Congress activists began celebrating in Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar. All exit polls had predicted a BJP win in Gujarat, with some giving the party a sweeping majority.
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.