Here’s how the counting day unfolded:

11.39 pm: Maharashtra Navnirman Sena leader Raj Thackeray says Rahul Gandhi “was alone in Gujarat, even in Karnataka and now too”. Will his leadership be accepted at the national level, he asks.

11.23 pm: “This is a victory of the public and democracy,” says RJD leader Tejaswi Yadav. “Public saw how the govt institutions were threatened, the manner in which people have indulged in ‘jumlebaazi’. The public is angry with this tyranny.”

10.27 pm: Congress leader P Chidambaram says his party will form governments in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, and that no one should attempt to steal their mandate. “No one – not the BJP, not the Governors – should attempt to steal the election in any of the three states,” he says on Twitter. “The BJP must accept its defeat.”

10.16 pm: Here’s how the constituencies in Rajasthan look as of 10 pm.

10 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi says his party “accepts the people’s mandate with humility”. “The BJP governments in these states worked tirelessly for the welfare of the people,” he says on Twitter as he congratulates the Congress for its victories.

“The family of BJP Karyakartas [workers] worked day and night for the state elections,” he says. “I salute them for their hard work. Victory and defeat are an integral part of life. Today’s results will further our resolve to serve people and work even harder for the development of India.”

9.55 pm: The vote share of the Congress (39.3%) is marginally higher than that of the BJP (38.8%), shows data from the Election Commission.

9.53 pm: Five seats remain to be declared. The Congress is leading four of them. The BJP’s final seat count is 73.

8.37 pm: Outgoing Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje says she is proud of the development work done by her government and respects the mandate of the people, reports PTI. “I am proud of the development works done by the BJP government in five years and believe that the upcoming government will continue the works and projects,” Raje says.

8.30 pm: Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje has resigned, PTI reports.

7.49 pm: Congress President Rahul Gandhi calls the result a victory of Congress workers, small traders and farmers. “This is a big responsibility for Congress party and we will work on this,” he says. “We are going to provide these states a vision. We are going to provide these states a govt that they can be proud of.”

7.28 pm: DMK President MK Stalin congratulates the winning parties.

7.15 pm: Actor-turned politician Kamal Haasan says the results are the “first sign of a new beginning”.

7.12 pm: Tamil filmstar Rajinikanth says the BJP’s losses in Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan and the close contest in Madhya Pradesh show that it has “lost its influence”, reports PTI.

7.01 pm: The chief minister of Rajasthan will be chosen on Wednesday, Congress General Secretary Avniash Pande tells PTI. First, the Congress Legislature Party will meet at 11 am and elected MLAs of the party will pass a resolution.

Congress President Rahul Gandhi will be apprised of the feedback and a second meeting of the legislature party will be held on Wednesday evening, Pande adds.

6.53 pm: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik congratulates the Congress and the Mizo National Front for their electoral success.

“It clearly shows the mood of the nation,” ANI quotes him as saying. “These states are predominantly agrarian states and the BJP government at the Centre has more or less ignored the Swaminathan report recommendations and the loan problems of farmers.”

6.23 pm: The election results in the three Hindi heartland states is a mandate for the leadership of Congress President Rahul Gandhi, PTI quotes Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh as saying.

6.16 pm: Gehlot, who is a possible contender for the post of chief minister of Rajasthan, says the Congress’ fortunes have been on the rise since the Gujarat elections last year “and the graph of Modi ji is constantly going down, it is a sign”.

6.14 pm: “This is a grand victory,” Congress leader Ashok Gehlot tells reporters. “We are forming government in three states. What can be better than that?”

5.57 pm: Congress leader Kapil Sibal tells ANI that the results are a victory of Rahul Gandhi, Congress workers and the fight agains scams. “This is the victory of humanity,” he adds.

4.34 pm: State Gaupalan (cow protection) Minister Otaram loses the Sirohi seat to Independent candidate Sanyam Lodha with a margin of 10,253 votes, PTI reports. Lodha is a Congress rebel.

Another incumbent, state Water Resources Minister Rampratap, loses the Hanumangarh seat to Congress candidate Vinod Kumar with a margin of 15,522 votes.

4.32 pm: Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray congratulates the voters and says they rejected what was unwanted, PTI reports.

4.26 pm: Rajasthan Assembly Speaker Kailash Meghwal wins from Shahpura with a margin of 74,542 votes, PTI reports.

4.15 pm: Samajwadi Party spokesperson Ghanshyam Tiwari describes BJP’s performance as “a colossal defeat for Adityanath”, according to NDTV. The Uttar Pradesh chief minister had campaigned in four of the five states where elections were held.

“What started in Gujarat with farmers not voting for the BJP has now become the youth not voting for the BJP,” says Tiwari. “The urban pockets are not voting for the BJP.”

4.09 pm: Chief ministerial candidate Sachin Pilot thanks people for helping him win from Tonk, NDTV reports. “Together, we will change Tonk and Rajasthan to lay the foundation for a new state in which all sections of society will prosper,” he says.

4.04 pm: Sachin Pilot says Congress legislative party in the state will meet on Wednesday morning to decide on the chief minister, PTI reports. “AICC General Secretary KC Venugopal has arrived for the meeting,” says Pilot, who is one of the front-runners for the post.

3.47 pm: State Revenue Minister Amra Ram loses the Pachpadra seat to Congress candidate Madan Prajapat by a margin of 2,395 seats, PTI reports.

3.45 pm: The Nationalist Congress Party attributed the BJP’s poor performance in the elections to its “arrogance” and said the results would predict a “farewell” for the National Democratic Alliance in the Lok Sabha elections, News18 reports. Party spokesperson Nawab Malik blamed the central government’s “anti-people and anti-farmer” policies for the defeat.

“It is, in fact, a 5-0 defeat for the BJP,” he says. “The people have voted against the arrogance of leaders of the BJP.”

3.30 pm: Aam Aadmi Party leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh says that 2019 will be “BJP-mukt Bharat” (BJP-free India), PTI reports.

“The results of the Assembly polls indicate that people are fed up with jumla [rhetoric],” he says, adding that the BJP should seek votes for the work it has done instead of canvassing in the name of building a Ram temple in Ayodhya.

3.14 pm: Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee congratulates the winners and says that people have voted against the BJP.

“This is the people’s verdict and victory of the people of this country,” tweets the West Bengal chief minister. “Victory of democracy and victory against injustice, atrocities, destruction of institutions, misuse of agencies, no work for poor people, farmers, youth, Dalits, SC, ST, OBC, minorities and general caste.”

2.59 pm: State Congress President Sachin Pilot won from Tonk by a margin of more than 50,000 votes, while Ashok Gehlot was victorious from Sardarpura by over 30,000 votes, according to NDTV.

Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje retained the Jhalrapatan seat, beating Manvendra Singh by 45,000 votes.

2.39 pm: Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu believes the Congress will soon hoist its flag on the Red Fort, News18 reports. “Rahul Gandhi is a leader on the ascent,” he says. “His indefatigable spirit has won.”

2.35 pm: Congress leader Renuka Chowdhury says the party was confident of a win in at least four of the five states, NDTV reports. “But we won’t be disappointed [if the Congress wins two states], we are grateful to the voters,” she says.

2.31 pm: Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma says that the results will not affect the Lok Sabha elections, News18 reports. “We will do our internal analysis once the results are complete,” he says.

2.25 pm: Congress leaders Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot have won from Sardarpura and Tonk seats respectively, according to News18. Gehlot has been victorious from Sardarpura since 1998.

Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje wins from Jhalrapatan, beating Manvendra Singh of the Congress.

2.10 pm: Maharashtra BJP MP Sanjay Kakade says the party concentrated on issues such as the Ayodhya Ram temple, building statues, and changing names of places, and forgot the issue of development that propelled Narendra Modi to power in 2014, ANI reports.

“I knew we would lose in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh but the Madhya Pradesh trends have come as a surprise,” he says.

1.56 pm: Congress supporters are on a victory bike rally around Jaipur, News18 reports.

“The mandate is against the BJP as the leaders were arrogant... there is an atmosphere of fear in the country,” says party leader Sachin Pilot. “This is not the kind of democracy we want.”

1.48 pm: National Conference President Farooq Abdullah says that people are tired of the BJP, according to News18. “Unemployment, farmers, rupee are worrying trends,” he says. “The trend shows it is going to be a change in 2019.”

The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister is one of the several leaders who attended the Opposition meet in Delhi on Monday. The parties had come together as part of attempts to form a grand alliance against the NDA government ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

1.29 pm: Samajwadi Party’s Ramgopal Yadav says any alliance discussion will happen once the results are clear, ANI reports. “The BJP’s wrong policies have destroyed the country and this is a result of that,” he says.

13.08 pm: Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav takes a jibe at the BJP’s performance in the Assembly elections. “Jab ek aur ek milkar bante hai gyaarah, tab badey bado ki satta ho jaati hai nau do gyaarah [when one and one come together, it makes 11, and the power of the bigwigs eventually fades away],” he tweeted.

13.03 pm: Sachin Pilot echoes senior leader Ashok Gehlot’s remarks and says the Congress is in touch with all like-minded and anti-BJP parties for support, ANI reports. “We are moving towards a full majority and I am sure it will be clear once the final numbers are in,” he says.

12.54 pm: Congress party’s Sachin Pilot in talks with eight Independent candidates, ANI quotes sources as saying.

12.30 pm: Senior BJP leader Rajnath Singh rejects the notion that the results would be a reflection on the Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre, PTI reports. He says that the Assembly elections were fought on the performances of the state governments.

12.24 pm: Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje is leading against Manvendra Singh of the Congress in Jhalrapatan constituency, according to official Election Commission data. In Pali constituency, the BJP’s Gyanchand Parakh is ahead of Independent candidate Bheemraj Bhati.

12.14 pm: “Our numbers can go up and down but the public’s mandate is in the Congress’ favour,” says Ashok Gehlot, adding that the party would want independent candidates and parties other than the BJP to lend them support.

12.02 pm: Congress leader Ashok Gehlot credits Rahul Gandhi for raising key issues that caused PM Narendra Modi’s “graph to come down”, PTI reports.

Gehlot says that Gandhi first cornered Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah in Gujarat, and then dealt in issue-based politics. The party got an advantage after Gandhi questioned Modi and the BJP about price rise, farmers’ issues, and the Rafale jet deal.

11.54 am: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh says the BJP hopes to do well even as votes are counted in five states, News18 reports. “These are initial trends,” he says. “Let the results come.”

11.40 am: Election Commission data indicates that the opposition Congress is leading in 91 seats, with the BJP ahead in 64. The Rashtriya Loktantrik Party leads in five seats, the Bahujan Samaj Party in four, and the Bhartiya Tribal Party and Communist Party of India (Marxist) are ahead in two seats each. Independent candidates are leading in 13 constituencies in the state.

11.27 am: Sachin Pilot tells reporters that people’s anger against the ruling BJP is evident. “The BJP has been losing for a while now and that has continued today,” he says. “Our lead will increase as more results come in. The Congress is in a comfortable position in all three states.”

11.23 am: “Trends make it clear that the Congress is forming government in Rajasthan with full majority, we had 21 seats last time,” Sachin Pilot tells reporters outside his residence in Jaipur.

He adds that the party leadership and MLAs will decide who will get what role, ANI reports.

11.15 am: Senior Congress leader Ashok Gehlot says that Congress President Rahul Gandhi will take a call on who will be the chief minister. Gehlot and Sachin Pilot, leading from Tonk constituency, are the front-runners in the race.

11.12 am: Jammu and Kashmir National Conference’s Omar Abdullah tweets: “This is the most fun I’ve had on counting day in a long time.”

“Rajasthan wasn’t meant to be a close fight,” says the former chief minister.

11.10 am: Former Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, leading in Sardarpura, is confident that the party will emerge victorious, News18 reports. “Rest assured, Congress will win,” he says.

Party workers celebrate at the Congress headquarters in Jaipur on Tuesday as the party leads in the Assembly elections (IANS)

10.52 am: Rashtriya Loktantrik Party leader Hanuman Beniwal is ahead in Khinvsar by a margin of 1,345 votes, PTI reports.

10.48 am: Independents are leading in 10 seats and candidates of other parties are ahead in five seats. The Bahujan Samaj Party is leading in one seat and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) in two, PTI reports.

10.43 am: Congress candidate Krishna Poonia, who won the discus throw gold medal in the 2010 Commonwealth Games, is leading in Sadulpur constituency by 646 votes, PTI reports.

10.40 am: Incumbent BJP ministers on the backfoot include Environment Minister Gajendra Singh, trailing by a margin of 1,375 votes in Lohawat, as well as Cooperative Minister Ajay Singh, trailing by 1,311 votes in Degana seat, PTI reports. Transport Minister Younus Khan is also trailing in Tonk, where state Congress chief Sachin Tonk is in the lead.

10.21 am: Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje is leading by 4,055 votes from Jhalrapatan, PTI reports. Ashok Gehlot of the Congress leads by 5,112 votes from Sardarpura.

10.17 am: State Health Minister Kalicharan trails by 117 votes in Malviya Nagar seat, PTI reports.

10.02 am: Rajasthan Assembly Speaker Kailash Meghwal leads by 3,411 votes in Bhilwara’s Shahpura seat, reports PTI.

9.56 am: Udaipur sitting legislator Gulab Chand Kataria trails, NDTV reports. He is the home minister in the Vasundhara Raje cabinet.

9.51 am: Supporters of former Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, who is leading from Sardarpura, are seen celebrating outside his house, says News18.

9.49 am: Official Election Commission trends show that the Congress is leading in seven seats, with the BJP ahead in three and the Bhartiya Tribal Party in one.

9.40 am: The BJP’s sitting legislator Jagasi Ram is leading in Reodar. Krishna Poonia of the Congress leads in Sadulpur, earlier held by Manoj Kumar of the Bahujan Samaj Party.

9.36 am: Election Commission leads show the Congress’ Suresh Modi leading in Neem ka Thana, earlier held by the BJP’s Prem Singh Bajor. The ruling party’s Balveer Singh Luthra has taken the lead in Raisingh Nagar, a seat earlier held by Sonadevi of the National Unionist Zamindara Party.

9.33 am: Parasram Mordia of the Congress leads in Dhod constituency, earlier held by the BJP’s Gordhan, indicate the Election Commission’s leads.

9.30 am: Bidhuri Rajendra Singh of the Congress is leading from Begun, which was earlier held by the BJP’s Suresh Dhaker. Another Congress leader, Padmaram, is leading in Chohtan, a seat held by BJP’s Tarun Rai Kaga.

9.20 am: Rajkumar Roat of the Bharatiya Tribal Party is leading in Chorasi seat, which was earlier held by the BJP’s Sushil Katara, indicate the Election Commission’s leads.

Shale Mohammad of the Congress, meanwhile, has taken the lead in Pokhran seat earlier held by the BJP’s Shaitan Singh.

9.18: Election Commission’s leads show BJP’s Santosh leading in Anupgarh. The seat was was earlier held by the party’s Shimla Bawri.

9.12 am: With state Congress chief leading in Tonk, party workers celebrate outside his residence, ANI reports.

9.06 am: The Congress currently leads in 63 constituencies, compared to 44 for the BJP, NDTV reports.

9.03 am: Congress leader Digvijaya Singh says it would be prudent to predict results only after noon although the party is confident of winning in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, ANI reports. “Leads of only postal ballots have come till now,” he says.

8.58 am: The Election Commission is keeping a close watch on the proceedings, PTI reports. “CCTV cameras have been installed at nearly 40 counting centres,” says an election department spokesperson.

8.56 am: BJP’s sitting legislator Ashok Parnami is leading from Adarsh Nagar constituency, NDTV reports. He is up against Rafeeq Khan of the Congress.

8.52 am: Union minister Arjun Ram Meghwal expresses confidence that the BJP will win the state, reports News18. “The Congress can do what it wants, we are not worried,” says the Lok Sabha member from Bikaner constituency.

8.48 am: Former state Congress chief CP Joshi is leading from Nathdwara constituency, NDTV reports. Mahesh Pratap Singh of the BJP trails.

Last month, the Election Commission had issued Joshi a notice after the BJP filed a complaint against him for remarking that only Brahmins have the right to speak about Hinduism. Joshi had said that Brahmins know everything about Hinduism and that it was strange to see Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP leader Uma Bharti and Sadhvi Ritambhara – who belong to backward castes – talking about the religion.

Joshi had apologised after Congress President Rahul Gandhi had rebuked him.

8.45 am: Congress workers arrive at the party headquarters in Jaipur with firecrackers, ANI reports.

8.41 am: Congress workers, armed with firecrackers and expecting a victory, have started arriving at Sachin Pilot’s residence, News18 reports. Pilot is the state party chief and is contesting from Tonk.

“I have been travelling across the state. There is intense anger against Vasundhara ji and her government,” Pilot had said earlier. “On Tuesday, you will see the Congress sweeping the state.”

8.37 am: Early trends show CM Vasundhara Raje has taken the lead in her constituency of Jhalrapatan, NDTV reports. Manvendra Singh, who crossed over to the Congress, trails.

8.34 am: Congress has taken the lead in 21 seats so far, with the BJP ahead in seven, reports NDTV.

8.30 am: Ashok Gehlot, two-time chief minister, is leading from Sardarpura, NDTV reports. He is facing off against the BJP’s Shambhu Singh Khetasar, who lost the 2013 elections by more than 18,000 votes.

8.25 am: Congress party’s Sachin Pilot, who is up against the BJP’s Younus Khan, is leading from Tonk constituency, NDTV reports. Khan is the only Muslim candidate the party has fielded in the state.

8.19 am: The counting has started with postal ballots and will then move on to EVMs.

8.15 am: Congress has taken the lead in six seats, with the BJP leading in two, NDTV reports.

8.02 am: Counting is now underway.

7.58 am: A party needs 101 seats to form the government in the state. In the 2013 elections, the BJP won 163 seats with a vote share of 45.17%, which was its highest ever poll victory. The Congress, meanwhile, won 21 seats.

7.55 am: One of the most high-profile contests is from the Jhalrapatan constituency, where CM Raje is facing off against Manvendra Singh of the Congress. The Sheo MLA is the son of former Union minister Jaswant Singh and quit the saffron party in the run-up to the elections. His presence is expected to give the Congress an edge among Rajputs, who account for 7% of the state’s population.

7.50 am: For the first time, voting trends and results will be telecast at public places in the state through 350 LED screens, says PTI.

7.48 am: Electronic voting machines have been stored in more than 670 strongrooms across the five states, and a total of 1,74,724 of them were used at polling stations, according to PTI.

7.45 am: With the Lok Sabha elections in mind, both parties tailored their campaigns around local issues in the run-up. While the Congress manifesto was aimed at women, farmers and unemployed youth, the BJP will be banking on its claims of good governance to retain power.

7.40 am: Both the BJP and the Congress have pulled out all stops to ensure a win in the western state. Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a total of 13 rallies, with party chief Amit Shah being a constant presence in the state. Congress President Rahul Gandhi addressed 14 election rallies.

7.35 am: The counting will take place at 35 centres, including two each in Jaipur and Rajasthan, state Chief Election Officer Anand Kumar told PTI.

7.30 am: Counting of votes is set to begin at 8 am. Rajasthan Chief Election Officer Anand Kumar on Monday said that nearly 20,000 government staff have been deployed for the exercise today, according to PTI. The process will start with postal ballots and then Electronic Voting Machines.

The chief election office has completed all preparations ahead of the counting, said Kumar.