Riding on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's immense popularity, the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) today headed for a huge win in Uttar Pradesh with saffron party leading on nearly three fourth of seats in the state.
According to trends available after five hours of counting of votes in the Assembly elections in the five states, the BJP was leading in 297 out of 396 constituencies in the 403-member Assembly in a stunning showing leaving their rivals far behind.
The BJP, which had just 47 seats in the outgoing Assembly, garnered 40 per cent vote share, in the most riveting contest seen as a gamechanger and a virtual referendum on Modi's popularity and demonetisation.
The nascent SP-Congress coalition was ahead in 69 seats while Mayawati's party BSP put up a poor show leading only in 17 places. The SP, whose campaign was spearheaded by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on development agenda, led in 58 seats.
Here are live updates:
* Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav submits his resignation to Governor Ram Naik
* I will analyse the defeat and then only can I take responsibility: Akhilesh Yadav
* We took a right decision by forming an alliance with the Congress. Two young later came together to contest elections. The alliance will continue: Akhilesh Yadav
* If a political leader has raised a question on EVM, it is the govt's responsibility to get it investigated: Akhilesh Yadav
* I will be happy if BJP keeps its promise to waive loans of UP's farmers: Akhilesh Yadav
* I accept the mandate of people given by people: Akhilesh Yadav
* May be people did not like highways and have voted for bullet trains: Akhilesh Yadav
* I hope the upcoming government does better work than us: Akhilesh Yadav
* We had worked hard for people for five years: Akhilesh Yadav
* I want to thank people who stood by Samajwadi Party: Akhilesh Yadav
* Every moment of our time, everything we do is for welfare and wellbeing of the people of India. We believe in the power of 125 crore Indians: Modi
* Congratulations to Amit Shah, party office bearers & state units for their exemplary work in taking the party to new heights: PM Modi
* I salute the hardwork of BJP Karyakartas. They have tirelessly worked hard at the grassroots level & won the confidence of the people: Modi
* I thank people of Punjab for giving Akali Dal and BJP the opportunity to serve for 10 years and for the support we got in these polls: PM Modi
* I am overjoyed that BJP has received unprecedented support from all sections of society. Huge support from the youth is gladdening: Modi
* Gratitude to the people of India for the continued faith, support and affection for the BJP. This is very humbling & overwhelming: Modi
* Central Parliamentary Board will choose UP Chief Minister in a meeting tomorrow. CM will be chosen on merit: Amit Shah
* This election has increased the responsibility of BJP and its workers: Amit Shah
* This election will end the politics of dynasty, caste and appeasement and will start the era of performance-based politics: Amit Shah
* People have imposed their faith in Modi ji and his welfare schemes for people: Amit Shah
* BJP is going to form govt in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur: Amit Shah
* I thank the people of Jaswant Nagar for my victory. Rest we accept people's mandate: Shivpal Yadav, SP
* Official Election Commission status for 403 seats (Leads/Wins): BJP-302, SP-53, BSP-18, Congress-9, Apna Dal-Soneylal (NDA) -9, SBSP (NDA)- 6, Ind-3, RLD-2
* Thanks to all party workers, Narendra Modi ji and Keshav Prasad Maurya ji for securing a win by two third majority in Uttar Pradesh. This is a win of BJP’s ideology and people’s trust in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s welfare and development schemes. I thank the people of UP for placing their trust in BJP and giving a historical mandate: Amit Shah
WATCH: BJP UP state president Keshav Prasad Maurya celebrates in Lucknow as BJP leading in Uttar Pradesh pic.twitter.com/PkH2RNMAqm— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) March 11, 2017
* The poor have given a decisive verdict that Modi is our leader and is working for our welfare...women, youth and even minorities have voted for us: Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union Minister
* The most important contribution of Modi phenomenon is that it has enabled voters to cast votes for development, going beyond castes, creeds, religions. It has helped them get rid of feudal mindset: Jitendra Singh, Union Minister
* The election was fought on issues such as law and order, development. The new generation understood the importance of bringing in the BJP: Sanjiv Balyan, Union minister
* SP-Congress alliance and the BSP have been totally rejected by the people in UP. People want development without bias. They want
security which the BJP can only provide: Yogi, Adityanath, BJP MP from Gorakhpur
* Will repeat 2017 in 2019: Keshav Prasad Maurya, UP BJP President
* Today nation is standing with PM Modi. This is the victory of people of UP and Uttarakhand: Union Minister Piyush Goyal
* Official Election Commission status for 381 seats: BJP-272, SP-57, BSP-17, Congress-13
* LEADS: BJP-298, SP alliance-74, BSP- 23
* Official Election Commission status for 313 seats: BJP-221, BSP-12, SP-51, Congress-13
* LEADS: BJP-275, SP alliance-78, BSP- 24
* Official Election Commission status for 245 seats: BJP-143, BSP-14, SP-35, Congress-7
* LEADS: BJP-250, SP alliance-76, BSP- 26
* Official Election Commission status for 118 seats: BJP-77, BSP-12, SP-16, Congress-6
* LEADS: BJP-224, SP alliance-61, BSP- 34
* LEADS: BJP-210, SP alliance-53, BSP- 29
* Official Election Commission status for 75 seats: BJP-50, BSP-9, SP-9, Congress-3
* LEADS: BJP-198, SP alliance-51, BSP- 32
* BJP and BSP in close fight in Eastern Uttar Pradesh
* SP's Shivpal Singh Yadav trailing on Jaswant Nagar seat
* Mulayam Singh Yadav's daughter-in-law Aparna Yadav trailing from Lucknow Cantt seat
* Official Election Commission status for 17 seats BJP-12, SP-3, BSP-1. Others-1
* Mukhtar Ansari (SP) trailing on Mau seat, his son trailing from Ghosi seat
* LEADS: BJP-132, SP alliance-34, BSP- 25
* UP ministers and SP candidates Azam Khan (from Rampur) and Gayatri Prajapati (from Amethi) leading
* SP's Mata Prasad Pandey trailing from Itwa seat
* Official Election Commission status for 7 seats: BJP leading on six seats, SP on one
* BJP's Swati Singh trailing on Sarojini Nagar seat
* LEADS: BJP-101, SP alliance-32, BSP- 22, Others-7
* Rita Bahuguna Joshi (BJP) leading on Lucknow Cantt seat
* Gayatri Prajapati (SP) leads on Amethi seat
* LEADS: BJP-72, SP alliance-32, BSP- 20
* LEADS: BJP-57, SP alliance-29, BSP- 18
* LEADS: BJP-45, SP alliance-26, BSP- 12
* Pankaj Singh (BJP) leads on Noida seat
* BJP doing well in reserved seats. BJP seems to have infiltrated into Mayawati's Dalit votes
* LEADS: BJP-41, SP alliance-28, BSP- 12
* LEADS: BJP-38, SP alliance-27, BSP- 15
* BJP leading on all five seats in Lucknow
* LEADS: BJP-34, SP alliance-26, BSP-16
* Nahid Hasan (SP) leads on Kairana
* LEADS: BJP on 27, SP on 23, BSP on 14
* BSP's Nawab Kazim Ali leads on Swar against Azam Khan's son
* Raghuraj Pratap Singh (Raja Bhaiya) leads on Kunda seat
* BJP leads on 13, BSP on 13, SP on 8, Congress on 4
* BJP leads on 14, SP on 8, BSP on 7
* BSP leading from Bulandshahr
* Ajay Rai (Congress) trails in Varanasi's Pindra
* BJP leads on 10, SP on 7, BSP on 4, Others on 1
* Kuldeep Kumar (SP) leads from Etawah
* Shivpal Singh Yadav (SP) leads on Jaswant Nagar
* BJP leads on 5 seats, SP on 4, BSP on 4 and others on 1
* Mukhtar Ansari (BJP) leads on Mau seat
* Counting underway in 78 centres across 75 districts of Uttar Pradesh.
* We are winning with two third majority, SP and BSP will be wiped out: Keshav Prasad Maurya,UP BJP Chief
* SP-Congress alliance will win today and we will expose tpeople who were conspiring against the Chief Minister: Rajendra Chaudhary, SP
* BJP candidate from Lucknow Cantt Rita Bahuguna Joshi offers prayers at Hazratganj's Hanuman Temple
Only central para-military forces will be deployed inside the counting centres while local police will be deployed in the outer circle and armed forces from other states will be around the centres to prevent the entry of any nauthorised persons.
20,000 personnel of central forces were being deployed, police said.
A total of 78 counting centres have been set up in the state. In three districts of Amethi, Azamgarh and Kushinagar two counting centres each have been set up and in remaining all 72 district counting will be held at one place.
While the elections will decide the fate of regional satraps Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati as they seek to prevent the BJP from gaining power in UP, the results will also be are widely being seen as a virtual referendum on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's two and half years of rule at the Centre.
They would also be a test for Akhilesh who recently took charge as the national president of the Samajwadi Party.
In the last two assembly elections, the voters of the state had given clear mandates. In 2012, the SP won 224 seats followed by the BSP (80) and the BJP (47).
The Congress and the RLD, which had contested the Assembly elections together, bagged 28 and 9 seats respectively.
In 2007, the BSP had emerged as the largest party with 206 seats followed by the SP which won 97 seats. The BJP had won 51 seats, while the RLD bagged 10 seats.