The Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party fought a close contest in the Haryana Assembly elections on Thursday, with neither party winning majority in the 90-member House. The BJP ended up with 40 seats, much lower than the 75 seats it had aimed for, and the Congress won 31.
Most exit polls had predicted a saffron surge in the state and predicted that Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar would make a comeback. Only one exit poll predicted a hung Assembly, and that turned out be the outcome.
Here are the day’s big updates:
11.12 pm: The Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress were involved in a close fight in the state elections, paving the way for Dushyant Chautala’s Jannayak Janta Party to play the kingmaker. The BJP has indicated it will stake claim to form government while the Congress said the ruling party suffered a moral defeat. Read how developments through the day played out:
11.03 pm: Owaisi says the BJP lost in Haryana. “BJP has to stop with the politics of polarisation and they should rather focus on economy and rural distress,” he adds.
11 pm: All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief Asaduddin Owaisi tells ANI that Congress’s improved performance in Haryana “is the achievement of regional leaders, this is my assessment so far”.
8 pm: “I want to assure people of both states that we will serve you to the best of our abilities,” says prime minister. “I have seen that policies and schemes are better implemented in states where there is a BJP government. Other parties waste time in changing names of schemes.”
7.55 pm: “In the last election we got 33% votes in Haryana and this time it went up to 36%,” says Modi, adding that it is a stamp of approval of BJP government.
7.50 pm: Modi tells the “political pundits who are analysing today’s election results” that Haryana in itself “is an exceptional win since these days there have been less instances of winning again after completing a five-year term”.
7.45 pm: Modi says both chief ministers, Devendra Fadnavis of Maharashtra and Manohar Lal Khattar of Haryana, were first-timers who did not even have the experience as ministers. “And for five years, they kept working for people’s welfare and as a result people have again put their faith in them,” he says, according to ANI.
7.39 pm: Modi thanks people for voting in favour of BJP. “Diwali [is] just [a] few days away, voters in Haryana and Maharashtra have shown immense confidence and trust in the BJP,” he says. “All workers in both states have worked extremely hard. They won the confidence of the people. I want to thank all of them.”
7.36 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses media.
7.30 pm: Union Home Minister Amit Shah addresses media at BJP headquarters in Delhi. He says the BJP has now won two state elections in Modi 2.0, and praises the chief ministers of Maharashtra and Haryana. “We ran a corruption-free government in Maharashtra and Haryana,” says Shah.
“Haryana and Maharashtra were not our strongholds before,” says the home minister. “But under the able leadership of PM Modi, we have formed governments in both the states. I am happy that our government has led by example in both the states and that was clear in the mandate today.”
7.23 pm: Congress says the Maharashtra and Haryana Assembly election verdict is a “moral defeat” for the Bharatiya Janata Party, PTI reports.
7.15 pm: Gopal Kanda of Haryana Lokhit Party will support the BJP, according to NDTV. This will take the BJP+ tally to 41, which is still five seats short of the majority.
7.08 pm: According to the Election Commission’s latest trends, the Bharatiya Janata Party has so far won 33 seats and is leading in seven others. The Congress has won 28 and is ahead in three, while the Jannayak Janta Party, which is fighting its first election, won 10 seats. Independent candidates won seven seats, while the Haryana Lokhit Party and the Indian National Lok Dal have each won one seat.
6.37 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanks the people of Haryana for “blessing” the BJP. The party is still six seats short in the 90-member Haryana Assembly.
“We will continue to work with the same zeal and dedication for the state’s progress,” he writes on Twitter. “I laud the efforts of hardworking [Haryana BJP] karyakartas who toiled extensively and went among the people to elaborate on our development agenda.”
6.34 pm: Congress leader P Chidambaram says “quiet patriotism will defeat muscular nationalism” when asked about the Assembly election results.
6.30 pm: BJP National President Amit Shah and other senior party leaders such as Rajnath SIngh, JP Nadda and Nitin Gadkari reach the party headquarters in New Delhi. They are expected to talk about the BJP’s performance in the Assembly elections.
6.18 pm: Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala loses Kaithal Assembly seat to BJP’s Leela Ram by 1,246 seats. Surjewala had won the Assembly elections in 2014 and 2009 from Kaithal.
6.13 pm: Here’s how the voting pattern in Haryana changed between 2014 and 2019.
5.49 pm: Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar will meet Governor Satyadev Narayan Arya on Thursday evening to stake claim to form government, ANI reports, citing sources.
5.47 pm: Besides Anil Vij, public health minister Banwari Lal is the only other minister from Khattar’s Cabinet to retain their seat. Lal is leading in the Bawal constituency by 32,326 votes.
5.43 pm: The Bharatiya Janata Party has so far won 26 seats and is leading in 14 others. The Congress has won 20 and is ahead in 11, while the Jannayak Janta Party, which is fighting its first election, won 10 seats. Independent candidates are ahead in seven seats, while the Haryana Lokhit Party and the Indian National Lok Dal have each won one seat.
5.40 pm: Health Minister Anil Vij wins Ambala Cantonment with a margin of 20,165 votes.
5.39 pm: Manohar Lal Khattar beats Congress’ Tarlochan Singh in Karnal by 41,950 votes.
5.35 pm: In Haryana’s Dadri, wrestler Babita Phogat comes in third place with only 19.5% of the votes, while Independent Sombir wins with 34.66% of the votes. JJP’s Satpal Sangwan is in the second position.
5.33 pm: In the Baroda Assembly seat, BJP candidate and wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt loses to Congress’ Krishan Hooda by 4,840 votes. Olympic medallist wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt had joined the BJP on September 26.
5.32 pm: Om Prakash Dhankhar, who heads the agriculture ministry, loses Badli to Kuldeep Vats of the Congress by 11,245 votes.
5.30 pm: State minister Krishan Lal Panwar loses in Israna to Congress candidate Balbir Singh by 20,015 votes.
5.28 pm: Karan Dev, another minister, trails behind the Congress candidate in Radaur by just 2,541 votes.
5.27 pm: In Rohtak, state minister Manish Grover trails behind Congress candidate Bharat Bhushan Batra by over 2,700 votes.
5.22 pm: In Sonipat, state minister Kavita Jain loses to Congress’ Surender Panwar by 32,878 votes.
5.20 pm: In Jagadhri constituency, Assembly Speaker Kanwar Pal of the BJP leads against Congress candidate Akram Khan by 8,545 votes. Pal was trailing earlier in the day.
5.18 pm: Haryana BJP chief and state minister Subhash Barala lost to Jannayak Janta Party’s Devender Singh Babli in Tohana with a margin of 52,302 votes. There were reports that Barala had resigned from his party post after the party failed to maintain its dominance in the state. However, Barala later denied such rumours.
5.16 pm: Another minister in the state Cabinet, Captain Abhimanyu of the BJP, loses the election in Narnaund seat to Jannayak Janata Party’s Ram Kumar Gautam by 12,029 votes.
5.14 pm: Top ministers in the Bharatiya Janata Party government in Haryana are trailing in their constituencies as votes are being counted for the Assembly elections held on Monday. Ram Bilas Sharma, a five-time MLA, is behind the Congress’ Rao Dan Singh in Mahendragarh constituency, with a margin of 10,311 votes around 5 pm.
5.12 pm: Until Wednesday, it was expected that Manohar Lal Khattar and the BJP would score a boring walkover in the Assembly elections. But as leads began to come in on Thursday morning, it became clear that something more interesting was on the cards. It also became apparent that the Khattar, non-Jat experiment could by no means be called an unambiguous success.
Here are four takeaways from the Haryana election.
5.09 pm: The Indian National Lok Dal, which had won 19 seats in the 2014 Assembly elections, has been diminished to just one seat this year – Abhay Singh Chautala is currently leading by a margin of over 11,900 votes in Ellenabad.
5.04 pm: The Congress has good numbers in Haryana, says senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, the Hindustan Times reports. “This indicates that people have a different opinion about the BJP. People thought they will redress the grievances of people. But that was not there and people are shifting away from the BJP,” Kharge says. “We will try our best for a non-BJP government. We have good numbers. We need to keep the BJP away because they will use all tactics to remain in power. In Maharashtra and Haryana, they [BJP] are not getting the numbers they had expected.”
4.44 pm: Hooda says the mandate is against the current government of Karnataka and reiterated that all non-BJP parties should come together and form a strong government, ANI reports.
4.42 pm: Congress leader and former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda wins the Garhi Sampla-Koli seat by a margin of 58,312 votes. He beat the BJP’s Satish Nandal, who was previously with the Indian National Lok Dal.
4.36 pm: “We failed to reach out to voters with our message and draw them to polling booths. We are going to do introspection after the election results are out,” BJP’s Kailash Vijayvargiya adds to PTI. “Khattar, as chief minister, put an end to dynasty casteism and nepotism in politics. But I feel we failed to reach out to the people.”
“We could not get the success we expected. However, I feel that when final results come, we are going to form the government on our own,” he adds. “And if we don’t get majority, we will think of the future course of action. We will not indulge in horse-trading.”
4.35 pm: BJP General Secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya blames shortcomings in the “election management” for his party’s lacklustre performance in the Assembly elections, PTI reports.
“I can clearly see the shortcomings in our management of Haryana elections,” Vijayvargiya says. “BJP rebels fought elections and we failed to persuade them [to pull out]. Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has worked for the development of Haryana with honesty and transparency, but elections are won with a bit of management.”
4.30 pm: The Bharatiya Janata Party has so far won 15 seats and is leading in 23 others. The Congress has won 12 and is ahead in 21, while the Jannayak Janta Party, which is fighting its first election, is ahead in three seats and won seven others. Independent candidates are ahead in seven seats, while the Haryana Lokhit Party has won one, and the Indian National Lok Dal is ahead in one constituency.
4.24 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah will address party workers later today, say reports.
4.22 pm: In Haryana’s Dadri, wrestler Babita Phogat was in third place with only 19.5% of the votes, while Independent Sombir was ahead with 34.66% of the votes. JJP’s Satpal Sangwan was in the second position.
4.18 pm: In the Baroda Assembly seat, BJP candidate and wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt is trailing behind Congress’ Krishan Hooda by over 3,500 votes.
Sandeep Singh and Olympic medallist wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt had joined the BJP on September 26.
4.12 pm: Former India hockey captain Sandeep Singh wins the Pehowa seat by 5,314 votes. The BJP candidate beat Congress leader Mandeep Singh Chattha.
4.09 pm: JJP’s Dushyant Chautala says it is too early to say anything about the future. “I believe state wants change and JJP will bring it,” he tells ANI. Both the BJP and Congress have reportedly approached the JJP to help them reach the majority.
4 pm: Congress veteran and former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda says the party would have done better if it had had more time. “We would have won a full majority if we had more time,” NDTV reports. “The trends are in our favour.”
Hooda and his son Deepinder Hooda are in touch with JJP’s Dushyant Chautala, who is now being seen as a kingmaker, reports suggest.
3.35 pm: The Bharatiya Janata Party has so far won 12 seats and is leading in 26 others. The Congress has won 8 and is ahead in 26, while the Jannayak Janta Party, which is fighting its first election, is ahead in five seats and won five others. Independent candidates are ahead in six seats, while the Haryana Lokhit Party has won one, and the Indian National Lok Dal is ahead in one constituency.
3.30 pm: Congress’s Kuldeep Bishnoi beats TikTok star and BJP candidate Sonali Phogat by a margin of 29,471 votes in Adampur.
Phogat was up against the three-time MLA from Congress, Kuldeep Bishnoi. The Adampur seat has been a bastion of the Congress for the last fifty years. Phogat rose to prominence in local circles by establishing herself as a popular personality on TikTok. She has over 166,000 followers on the app.
Follow our live coverage of the Maharashtra Assembly results here.
3.12 pm: Khattar is ahead by 41,950 votes in Karnal constituency against Congress’s Tarlochan Singh, according to the Election Commission. Hooda is leading by a margin of 58,074 votes in the Garhi Sampla-Kiloi constituency. He is running against BJP’s Satish Nandal.
3.02 pm: Seven ministers in the ruling BJP government are trailing in their constituencies.
Read more here:
2.56 pm: This is how Haryana voted in the Assembly elections of 2014 and 2019:
2.47 pm: BJP’s Haryana President Subhash Barala dismisses rumours of him quitting the party, reports ANI.
2.45 pm: Jannayak Janta Party’s Amarjeet Dhanda won against BJP’s Parminder Singh Dhull by a margin of 24,193 votes from the Julana constituency.
Ram Karan beat BJP’s Krishan Kumar by a margin of 37,127 votes in the Shahbad seat.
Ram Kumar Gautam ran against BJP’s Captain Abhimanyu in the Narnaund seat. Gautam won with a margin of 12,029 votes.
Ram Niwas, the party’s candidate from Narwana constituency, won with a margin of 30,692 votes.
2.36 pm: Four Jannayak Janta Party leaders Amarjeet Dhanda, Ram Kumar Gautam, Ram Niwas, and Ram Karan declared winners in their constituencies, according to the Election Commission’s website.
2.21 pm: According to the Election Commission, the BJP is now leading with 38 seats, Congress is ahead in 34 seats, and Jannayak Janta Party is leading in 7 seats.
2.11 pm: In the press conference in Rohtak district, Hooda says he will ensure each party that comes together to form an alliance against BJP will be “given a respectable position”, according to ANI.
1.49 pm: “The time has come for Congress, JJP, INLD, and independent candidates to come together to form a strong government,” Hooda tells ANI.
1.38 pm: The BJP, and the Congress are currently neck-and-neck with 35 seats each, the Jannayak Janta Party ahead in nine seats, according to the Election Commission.
1.17 pm: “We will try to introspect why [we] fell short of the target we had set for ourselves,” BJP Vice President Vinay Sahasrabuddhe tells NDTV.
12.52 pm: Election Commission releases trends for all 90 seats in Haryana. BJP is now leading in 38 seats while the Congress is ahead in 32, and the Jannayak Janta Party in 10. The Indian National Lok Dal is ahead in two seats, while the Bahujan Samaj Party is leading in one. Others such as independents are ahead in seven seats.
12.16 pm: “Haryana has given the verdict – it will not tolerate BJP’s misgovernance any more,” tweets Pradesh Congress Committee chief Kumari Selja. “Choosing to leave behind the maladies inflicted on its people in last five years, the state is ready to embrace a new dawn of justice and equality under the leadership of Congress.”
12.12 pm: Jannayak Janta Party chief Dushyant Chautala responds to reports of Congress offering him the chief minister’s post, says he has “not had discussions with anyone”. Decision will be taken after the final numbers are released, adds Chautala.
11.44 am: Former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda is racing ahead in Garhi Sampla-Koli by 19,773 votes against BJP’s Satish Nandal, who was previously with the Indian National Lok Dal.
11.41 am: Indian National Lok Dal’s Abhay Singh Chautala is ahead in the Ellenabad constituency by 4,263 votes. He is up against BJP’s Pawan Beniwal.
11.38 am: Randeep Surjewala visits a counting centre in Kaithal. He is now leading against BJP candidate Leela Ram by a margin of 293 votes, according to the Election Commission.
11.13 am: Former India hockey captain Sandeep Singh is ahead in the Pehowa seat by 1,606 votes. Congress leader Mandeep Singh Chattha is trailing.
11.10 am: BJP candidate Leela Ram is leading in Kaithal constituency against Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala by a margin of 2,423 votes.
11.07 am: Indian National Lok Dal candidate Dilbag Singh is leading in Yamunanagar seat against BJP’s Ghanshyam Dass, according to Election Commission.
10.59 am: JJP chief Dushyant Chautala is leading from Uchana Kalan constituency against BJP MLA Prem Lata by a margin of 10,420 votes. Chautala had lost to Lata in the last elections.
10.57 am: Khattar leads from Karnal constituency by a margin of 11,211 votes against Congress candidate Tarlochan Singh, according to the Election Commission.
10.37 am: According to the Election Commission, the BJP is leading in 38 seats, Congress in 27, the Jannayak Janata Party in 11, the Indian National Lok Dal in 2, and others in 8.
10.34 am: Congress spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill tweets: “Seems like farmers and the unemployed are giving a rap to the Khattar government.”
10.30 am: With the Congress and the JJP gaining ahead, Indian National Lok Dal’s Abhay Chautala tells News18: “People of Haryana are unhappy with BJP. It looks like a hung assembly in Haryana. Now horse trading will start in Haryana.”
10.25 am: Congress candidate Dharam Singh Choker is leading from the Samalkha constituency against BJP’s Shashi Kant Kaushik, according to the Election Commission.
10.10 am: Wrestler Babita Phogat is leading in Dadri constituency by a margin of 119 votes, according to the Election Commission.
10.08 am: JJP President Dushyant Chautala says people in Haryana are showing a lot of love, and says a change can be seen in the early trends. “I think Haryana is moving towards progress,” he tells ANI. “Target of 75 plus [for BJP] has failed.”
9.58 am: Congress leader Hooda visits a counting centre in Rohtak, reports ANI.
9.51 am: Congress’s Kuldeep Bishnoi is leading from his family bastion Adampur against BJP’s TikTok celebrity candidate Sonali Phoghat by 3,500 votes, reports Firstpost.
9.49 am: Congress candidate and former Board of Control for Cricket in India chief Ranbir Singh Mahendra is trailing behind JJP’s Naina Chautala in Badhra constituency, reports PTI. Former India hockey captain Sandeep Singh leading from Pehowa seat in Kurukshetra, according to the Election Commission’s trends.
9.41 am: “Congress ka bahumat aayega [Congress will get majority]”, says Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda, reports ANI.
9.31 am: BJP leading in eight seats, Congress and JJP in two each, according to the Election Commission.
9.24 am: “We are confident of getting more than 20 seats and 23 per cent of the vote,” JJP leader Virender Sindhu tells NDTV.
9.22 am: According to the Election Commission, Dushyant Chautala’s JJP is leading in two seats, BJP and Congress in one each.
9.19 am: According to NDTV, BJP is leading in 45 seats, Congress in 26, JJP in 12, and Others-seven.
9.13 am: Haryana minister Anil Vij is said to be leading from Ambala Cantonment constituency in early trends, reports PTI.
9.09 am: Khattar from the Karnal seat, and Hooda from Garhi Sampla-Kiloi constituency are among those leading, according to PTI.
9.07 am: The Election Commission website shows the BJP, the Congress, and JJP are all leading in one seat each.
8.56 am: According to India Today, BJP leading in 41 seats, Congress in 29.
8.46 am: Votes are being counted in Karnal, where Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar is the BJP candidate. He faced Congress’s Trilochan Singh.
8.43 am: The JJP on Wednesday wrote to the chief election commissioner and Haryana’s chief electoral officer, asking for internet services to be suspended in the region or at least in a 5-km radius around centres where votes are being counted till the end of counting day. They also asked for jammers to be installed “to preserve the sanctity of the election process”, reports The Indian Express.
8.40 am: First hour of voting is generally reserved for postal votes of government employees across the country, members of the defence and paramilitary forces.
8.37 am: The majority mark in the Haryana Assembly elections is 46.
8.35 am: Early trends show BJP is leading in 25 seats, Congress- 10, Others-1, reports NDTV.
8.31 pm: “BJP has de-linked the state’s performance from the Assembly elections. People were asked to vote on national issues,” says Swaraj India President Yogendra Yadav, according to NDTV.
8.19 am: Jannayak Janta Party leader Dushyant Chautala tells ANI that neither BJP nor Congress will secure more than 40 seats. “Satta ki chabi JJP ke haath mein hogi [Power will be in the hands of JJP],” he says.
8 am: Counting of votes begins for Haryana Assembly elections.
7.53 am: This is what the exit polls predicted:
7.51 am: Security increased around counting centres and party offices in Panchkula district, reports The Indian Express. Around 400 police officials, including four assistant commissioners of police given responsibility of guarding the centre where votes will be counted for Panchkula and Kalka constituencies.
7.45 am: State gears up for counting to begin. Visuals from a counting centre in Jind district.
7.27 am: Wrestler Babita Phogat, BJP’s candidate for Dadri assembly constituency, tells ANI: “People have given me love and support, that is my strength, and what keeps me going. I have faith in public and myself, people will give blessings to their daughter.”
7.17 am: This is how Haryana voted in 2014.
7.10 pm: Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar is expected to make a comeback if exit polls are to be considered. Bhupinder Singh Hooda is Congress’s face in the state.
7.03 am: Counting of votes will begin at 8 am with ballot boxes expected to be opened first.
7 am: Haryana witnessed a low turnout of over 65% with a disappointing 52.63% turning up to vote in the city of Gurugram. In 2014, 76.54% of the electorate had voted in the state elections.
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