The ruling BJP and the Congress are caught in a close and undulating fight in Madhya Pradesh, where Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is seeking a record fourth term. Between 1 pm and 3 pm, the two national parties swapped positions in terms of leads numerous times. At 3 pm, even as vote-counting was still ongoing the see-saw battle saw the BJP trailing marginally with 109 seats and the Congress on 111 -- basically as close as it could get. While there are many factors to analyse as to why the trends are going the way they are, one of the key things to look at is the effect that the various leaders of the different parties personally had in terms of winning, leading in, or losing a particular seat.
At the time of publishing, here's how the Congress is faring in the 15 seats where its chief Rahul Gandhi campaigned:
As can be seen above, at the time of writing, the Congress is leading in four out of 15 seats where Rahul Gandhi campaigned. This means that in a direct comparison, the Congress president's record compares unfavourably with that of PM Modi, who at a similar juncture, recorded leads in 9 out of 13 seats in which he campaigned.
The situation in Madhya Pradesh remains fluid (meaning the above trends could also change), with the BSP even taking steps to ensure that it's to-be MLAs are accounted for. Mayawati anticipates that her party could be the key to forming a government in the state.
Meanwhile, in other states, the results are more clear. KCR is all set to remain Telangana Chief Minister by completely routing the Congress-TDP 'Maha Kutami'. In Mizoram, the MNF has a big lead as per trends, with the ruling Congress being reduced to single digits in the 40-seat assembly. In Chhattisgarh, on the other hand, the Congress appears on the verge of triumph, holding a significant advantage over the incumbent BJP indicating that the state may change hands for the first time in over a decade. And in Rajasthan too, it is the Congress that is currently on top, though not by the margin that a number of pollsters had predicted. Sachin Pilot has confirmed that he is in talks with a number of independents. All eyes, however, are on Madhya Pradesh.