23:18 Delhi HC blast accused killed in encounter in J&K:
Top Hizbul-Mujahideen commander Chota Hafiz, an accused in the 2011 Delhi High Court blast, was today killed in an encounter with security forces in Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir.
Hafiz, prime accused in the blast which claimed 15 lives, was killed in a joint operation of Special Operation Group of the police and the army in Kaderna forest belt, 238 kms from here, around 4.30 PM, Deputy Inspector General of Kishtwar-Doda-Ramban Range, Gareeb Dass told PTI.
22:17 Ratan Tata apologises to Dr Singh:
Tata Group Chairman Ratan Tata has apologised to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for comments attributed to him in an interview, which, he said, were a 'misrepresentation' of his remarks.
"I have always been one of your greatest admirers and supporters," Tata has written to Dr Singh, who responded by saying that those in public life "inevitably face" criticism and it should be used constructively to guide the government.
Tata, who will step down on December 28 to take over as Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons, has conveyed to Singh his "sense of shock at reading the completely untrue, sensationalised headlines and reporting of a recent interview" to the Financial Times of London.
21:12 Police exchange fire with Naxals in Gadchiroli:
Security forces today seized arms and ammunition following a shoot-out with the Naxals in the forest near Mungner village in Dhanora tehsil of the district.
Naxals opened fire on Central Reserve Police Force personnel and a local police team during a joint combing operation, said the police.
As the security forces retaliated, the ultras fled. Upon searching the area, forces discovered five detonators, ammonium nitrate and other things.
21:11 India Inc congratulate BJP, Congress:
India Inc today congratulated BJP and Congress on their respective wins in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh assembly polls.
On BJP's victory in Gujarat, the CII said, "The stability in the state would enhance confidence of the industry and herald new investments. The chamber has been working closely with the state government and looks forward to continuing its engagement with it for Gujarat's progress".
Commenting on the Congress' victory in Himachal Pradesh, CII said, "The mandate provides a great opportunity for the new government to take necessary and bold measures for development of infrastructure and industrial clusters in the state. CII looks forward to working very closely with the new government".
21:09 Chhattisgarh assembly suspends Cong, BSP MLAs :
Opposition Congress and Bahujan Samaj Party legislators were suspended today after they trooped into the well of the Chhattisgarh state assembly to seek a debate on the admissibility of an adjournment motion on the allocation of coal blocks.
They were suspended under rules that provide for automatic suspension of any MLA who enters the well of the house while proceedings are underway.
21:08 Letter warns of bomb attack on Saibaba Temple:
The trust managing the Saibaba Temple in Shirdi has claimed to have received a letter warning of a bomb blast at the popular shrine on January 1.
Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust Deputy Executive Officer Yashwant Mane confirmed receiving the letter, which bears the names of three people, and said it was today handed over to the police.
The letter in Marathi has been signed by Ankush Bhuse, Bhaskar Kadam and Balu Lahudkar. It has the stamp of a post office in Buldhana district,central Maharashtra, Shirdi police station in-charge Datta Pawar said.
21:07 Centre getting ready for Modi's visit on Thursday:
Fresh from his Gujarat victory, Narendra Modi is expected to have his first encounter with the Centre next Thursday when the country's apex planning body National Development Council meets to approve the 12th Plan.
Modi has in the past never lost an opportunity to take on the Planning Commission and the Centre on various issues and has often complained about the step-motherly treatment meted out to his state.
With Modi's win, official sources said the Centre is gearing up to counter him in the NDC meeting scheduled on December 27, when the Gujarat chief minister will be in Delhi on his first visit after the elections.
20:09 Letter warns of bomb attack on Saibaba Temple:
The trust managing the Saibaba Temple here has claimed to have received a letter warning of a bomb blast at the popular shrine on January 1. Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust Deputy Executive Officer Yashwant Mane confirmed receiving the letter, which bears the names of three persons, and said it was today handed over to the police.
The letter in Marathi has been signed by Ankush Bhuse, Bhaskar Kadam and Balu Lahudkar. It has the stamp of a post office in Buldhana district, Central Maharashtra, Shirdi police station in-charge Datta Pawar told PTI. In the letter received yesterday, the trio has claimed they are getting Rs 350 crore for carrying out the blast, he said.
20:02 Delhi gang-rape: Male friend 'identifies' accused in Tihar jail:
One of the four accused in the brutal rape of a young paramedical student was on Thursday "identified" by the victim's friend during a Test Identification Parade (TIP) at Tihar jail in Delhi.
The 23-year-old victim's male friend, an engineer in a software company identified Mukesh during TIP, a senior police official said.Eleven people were paraded before the victim's friend during TIP which started at 3:05pm and ended in a hour.
"The procedures ended by 4 PM," the official said.Out of the four accused, only Mukesh had agreed to TIP when he was produced before a court here on Wednesday. Other accused -- Ram Singh, Pawan and Vinay -- had refused to undergo TIP.
19:34 Parliament lost 106 hrs in Winter session due to disruptions:
Parliament lost over 106 hours during the month-long Winter session which was marred by turmoil over issues like FDI and quota in promotions, but managed to pass some key legislations including banking reforms bill. Much of the time of both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha was wasted because of uproar over FDI in multi-brand retail, over which government finally emerged victorious in voting after marathon debate with the support of BSP and SP.
BSP had apparently extended support as a quid pro quo for passage of a bill for providing quota to SCs/STs in government job promotions, but it could not fructify as the proposed legislation was cleared by only Rajya Sabha and blocked in Lok Sabha by SP and BJP.
19:33 'Have they been caught', asks Delhi gang-rape victim:
"Have they been caught?" This is what the young student, who was gangraped and brutally assaulted in a moving bus on Sunday night, asked her family members today when they met her in Safdurjung hospital where she is undergoing treatment.
Sources said the 23-year-old girl, who remained critical but stable, cannot speak as she has a tube in her mouth and communicates by writing on paper. "She is aware that the media has taken up the case.
The girl asked her family whether the accused have been caught," they said. Sources said her family is thankful to media but at the same time does not want their privacy intruded.
19:21 BJP, SP block quota bill in Lok Sabha :
The BJP and Samajwadi Party today blocked in the Lok Sabha a bill to provide reservation for SCs and STs in government job promotions, delaying the measure which was seen as quid pro quo for BSP's support to UPA on FDI in retail.
Just before the House was adjourned sine die after a month -long Winter session, Speaker Meira Kumar regretted that her efforts to get the proposed legislation passed could not succeed.
The House was adjourned repeatedly on the last day of the session because of pandemonium created by SP and BJP and then sine die at 5.30 pm.
19:16 Goa Cong leaders engage in blame-game in meeting with Rahul:
The bickering in Goa Congress came to fore during the local leaders' interaction with Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi here today. Some leaders including Alemao brothers Churchill and Joaquim, both of whom lost in the Assembly elections, blamed former Chief Minister Digambar Kamat for Congress's rout, sources said.
Gandhi met several party leaders and workers before addressing national executive of National Students Union of India (NSUI) later in the day. Sources said in the meeting with Rahul, Churchill Alemao, former PWD Minister, said that Kamat was responsible for the current situation of the party in Goa.
19:02 Modi moment at rally: Forgive me if I have made a mistake:
His speech ends with chants of the usual Bharatmata ki jai. Probably the biggest or rather the most telling statement that came out from his speech was this: Agar hum se koi galti hui hain, hum aapse maafi chahte hai. If I have made mistakes, forgive me. I seek the blessings from six crore Gujaratis so that nothing bad happens to anyone through my hands.
He also said he would be going to Delhi on December 27, when the crowds chanted, 'PM PM PM'
Remember, Modi has never ever apologised for the post-Godhra riots. This is the first time he has apologised at any rally, however with no reference to the riots. #Live-gujarat-results
File photo during Modi's election rallies.
18:37 Made a ladder from stones thrown at me: Modi:
"I will not stop, I will not tire, I will ensure your dreams are fulfilled. You have voted for me for the next five years, I will see that you will win for the next five years. The BJP's victory is the victory of Indians. I don't see anyone as my enemy," says Modi, in a speech that reaches out to Indians not just the people of Gujarat. .
FINAL RESULTS: Gujarat: BJP 115, Cong 61
Himachal: Cong 36 BJP 26
18:29 Amid PM, PM, PM chants, Modi says: Will go to Delhi:
Chants of PM PM PM break out. Modi says, "OK, just for you, I will make time to visit Delhi one of these days. I want to make Gujarat a stronger state. There are people from all over India who come to Gujarat to earn a living. This victory is about Team India, Team BJP, Team Gujarat."
OK, there it is. The first mention of the party and not just his win.
18:24 I have made a victory staircase from stones thrown at me: Modi:
Lampooning the Congress for their grudging acknowledgement of the BJP's victory in Gujarat, Modi says, "The political pundits have no shame, absolutely no shame. I was listening to the pollsters on TV and they just do not want to accept that the party has won. If you add the vote of Gujarat and Himachal, we will still get more than the others [does not name the Congress].
"A party winning twice is a big thing. But this is a hat-trick victory. I feel sorry for them. They have tried everything to demean me. I have never made any accusations against anyone, but they have made false accusations constantly against me.
"But I am amazed that you have managed to look beyond and sniff out the truth. I bow before you (shashtang pranam to boot) When people throw stones at me, I can make a staircase out of it and I have scored a hat-trick," says Modi.
All through the speech, Modi has thanked only the electorate, not a single mention of the other winning BJP candidates or the party for that matter.
This is the first time that Modi has apologised in a rally. Is this an indirect apology for the Godhra riots? It will remain an inference. #Live-gujarat-results
18:11 Modi: Forgive me if I have done you any wrong :
"Who won, who lost ... all that is over. Now, is when the real work begins. People have been thinking, 'Now, that Modi has won, he will lie back and enjoy life. May be read newspapers.' They are wrong. I ask your forgiveness if I have made any mistake, but I want to tell you that I will work even harder. You are an incarnation of the divine. I seek your blessings so that in the days and years ahead I don't make any mistakes. That there are no errors committed by my hands. If you give me these blessings, there will never be any mistakes.
This victory is the victory of six crore Gujaratis, the victory of those who seek the welfare of the nation, wherever they may live in India."
Almost every sentence is peppered with cheers. #Live-gujarat-results
18:03 You voted for governance, India wants governance: Modi:
Modi who is addressing the rally at Ahmedabad, says, "India should learn from Gujarat's voters. You are heroes. You have voted for governance and development. Nation wants good governance. Nation wants development. I will work harder next time. But this is a new chapter for Gujarat.,
"You have not been taken in false promises. I congratulate you for it. It is you, the voter who makes governments accountable," says Modi.
Modi has made a departure from the norm -- addressing his followers in Hindi -- probably knowing that Delhi is listening in on this speech. #Live-gujarat-results
Pic: Narendra Modi at the victory speech in Ahmedabad. /Sonil Dedhia
17:54 Modi: People have voted with their future in mind :
Modi at victory poll rally: "The results of the Gujarat poll results show that the electorate has matured, people have risen above the politics of caste, greed. You have thought that if Gujarat benefits, you will benefit too. You have voted keeping your future in mind.
The political pundits of the country should understand that the electorate of Gujarat does not want the situation of the 1980s to be repeated [when the Congress was in power]. "
17:48 Modi's victory speech begins with thanks to media :
OK, finally Narendra Modi begins addressing his followers at Maninagar... in
Hindi. Loud cheers pepper his speech. "I thank all the crores who voted for me and the party," says Modi.
He begins by thanking the media for their support. "They have worked as hard as all of you covering these elections. Please be nice to them," he says. #Live-gujarat-results
17:43 Mr Modi is tweeting every few minutes as his followers await him at Maninagar. One of the many..
@narendramodi:.This is not just a victory of Guj, but also a message to everyone that development & good governance triumph over divide & rule politics.
So, what does Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi need to do now. Sonali Ranade answers that question. Read
17:30 This is a victory of people, party, performance: Modi:
Narendra Modi tweets: Gujarat has won! This is a victory of People, Party and Performance. Sharing thoughts on my blog on this historic win. Read
This is what much of his speech should sound like. Modi was supposed to address a victory rally at Maninagar at 5 pm today.
17:27 While on tweets, a mind-boggling one on the Delhi gang-rape from shivendra singh @shivendra: Girl,who was raped in delhi, shud not have followed western
And get this: The man is an an assistant review officer at the High Court of Allahabad
17:25 It's for India to decide if they want Modi as PM: Brother:
Narendra Modi's elder brother Somabhai Modi is understandably ecstatic about his brother's victory in the Gujarat assembly election. His first statement to the media was that the country wanted Modi to be PM.
Our correspondent Sonil Dedhia met up Somabhai for an extended interview where he said: "I am very happy for him. He has proved himself again and as everyone is saying he has completed the hat-trick."
A retired government officer, he now runs an old age home in their hometown Vadnagar, Somabhai said that Modi should continue development work in the state. #Live-gujarat-results The full report here.
17:23 Modi tweets his thanks to 'six crore Gujaratis':
Narendra Modi tweets his thanks before his victory speech: @narendramodi: " I would like to thank the 6 crore people of Gujarat & the Almighty for giving us an opportunity to serve the people in the years to come.
17:16 Rectified tally. The BJP has won 116 seats so far, not 118 as reported earlier.
Tally so far in Gujarat: BJP 116, Cong 60 (That's one win short of his 2007 tally)
Himachal Pradesh: Congress 36, BJP 26
17:09 Victorious Modi touches Keshubhai's feet :
Modi's big moment as a victor was to meet GPP chief Keshubhai Patel. Patel's GPP won just two seats. Keshubhai tells TV channels that Modi fed him sweets. "I also did the the same and wished him the very best for the his next tenure as the chief minister. But beyond that we did not talk at all,"said Keshubhai. Modi, however did touch Patel's feet to seek his blessings.
17:03 Gujarat CM Narendra Modi to address his supporters in his constituency at Maninagar in a few minutes from now. #Live-gujarat-results
17:02 Generous in defeat Shashi Tharoor congratules Modi:
Congress MoS for HRD Shashi Tharoor who was lampooned by Modi during his election rally a month ago, reached to congratulate the Gujarat CM on Twitter: Congress congratulates @narendramodi for BJP electoral victory, accepts voters' verdict w/humility. Grateful for faith of people of Himachal.
Modi had indirectly referred to Tharoor's wife Sunanda Pushkar, calling her a '50 crore girlfriend', to which Tharoor retorted that she was 'priceless', but Modi needed to be in love to understand that.
16:52 Italians marines to celebrate X'mas at home:
Meanwhile, the two Italian marines, facing criminal trial on charges of killing two Indian fishermen 10 months back, may be able to celebrate Christmas in Italy with the Kerala High Court today allowing them to go home for two weeks while asking them to give a bank guarantee of Rs.six crore and imposing stringent conditions. The bail conditions can be modified if the Union government feels the undertaking by the Italian Ambassador and Italian Consul General are acceptable and travel documents can be issued to them, Justice P Bhavadasan said disposing of the petition by the marines Latore Massimilliano and Salvatore Girone.
16:48 Modi wins 116 seats, one seat short of 2007:
Narendra Modi has won 116 seats, one seat short of the 2007 tally.
On Twitter: Debraj Bhattacharya: Modi becomes Chief Minister of Gujarat for the third time. But currently the longest serving Chief Minister is Pawan Kumar Chamling of Sikkim. He is in power since 1994 and Sikkim is doing very well both growth and social development. Let's have him as our next Prime Minister.
So, it's an emphatic win for Narendra Modi and the BJP in Gujarat. This is the man who just might be India's next prime minister considering that this hat-trick in Gujarat could possibly pitchfork him as a prime ministerial candidate of the BJP in 2014.
The 62-year-old former RSS pracharak is no ordinary politician and has carved out a name for development in a state that has always nurtured talent and entrepreneurial skills. Controversy
: Modi has more share of controversies and is yet to live down the stigma over the post-Godhra violence that claimed lives of over 1,000 Muslims in March 2002 months after he had taken over as Chief Minister replacing Keshubhai Patel. In a state considered the Sangh Parivar's Hindutva laboratory, the Chief Minister is accused of polarising the state on communal lines. #Live-gujarat-results
16:24 In other news: A Delhi court has granted anticipatory bail to Zee owner Subhash Chandra Goyal in the Jindal extortion case.
16:20 Modi meets Keshubhai, offers mithai:
Counting for the 182 seats in the Gujarat Assembly polls is over. The BJP gets 121 seats, Congress: 57 out of a total of 182 seats.
Meanwhile, Modi met GPP president Keshubhai Patel in Gandhinagar and offered him sweets.
This is what Modi tweeted a while ago: Going to meet my Mother to seek her blessings on this memorable day.
16:14 Gujarat diary: '110 crore Indians want Modi in PM's chair':
While BJP workers gleefully celebrated the victory of the party and their leader Narendra Modi for a third time in the Gujarat elections, Congress workers could barely hide their feeling of disappointment. Sonil Dedhia
and Prasanna D Zore
were present at the BJP and Congress headquarters in Ahmedabad to witness the celebrations as well as the dejection. Interesting encounters on the sidelines of the political brouhaha. Read
16:10 Modi's brother: Country wants Narendra to be PM:
First reactions from Narendra Modi's family: His brother Somabhai Modi says the country wants Modi to be PM. Incidentally, Somabhai Modi never wanted his brother to join politics. Read
our earlier interview with the man who has remained in the shadows. #Live-gujarat-results
16:06 Modi meets Keshubhai, offers mithai:
Twitter abuzz with Narendra Modi meeting Keshubhai Patel.
Bhupendra Chaubey: Having proved a point to keshubhai, narendra modi now goes to meet him and extend a hand of friendship.1st big sign of modi's change of tact
Padmaja Joshi: Narendra Modi's new sadbhavna: Meets Keshubhai Patel, sweets exchanged!
Remember, Modi was instrumental in ousting Patel
from the position of chief minister in 2001 and, in so doing, managed to
get himself installed as Patel's successor. Patel has never forgiven
Modi and his allies in the BJP hierarchy, but, until recently, this
conflict was kept under wraps. This year, the rivalry between the two
factions boiled over with Patel formally launching the GPP, his own
breakaway party. #Live-gujarat-results
15:43 Modi seeks mummy's blessings after emphatic win :
Dressed in a striped kurta the BJP's most likely candidate for the post of prime minister in the 2014 polls and Gujarat's chief minister visits his mother to take her blessings after the party's and his thunderous victory in the polls. Modi defeated Congress candidate Shweta Bhatt by 1,20,470 votes. Bhatt, the wife of suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt, got a bare 34,097 votes. Modi, 62, has ruled Gujarat since October 2001 when he replaced incumbent chief minister Keshubhai Patel. Patel went on to form the Gujarat Parivartan Party. He won from the Visavadar constituency with over 42000 votes against the BJP's Bhalala Kanubhai Mepabhai. #Live-gujarat-results
15:29 Rape: Victim's friend at Tihar to identify accused:
Just in: The male friend of the gang-rape victim is at Tihar jail to identify Mukesh Singh who has been sent to judicial custody for 14 days. He is the only accused among the four arrested who is willing to undergo an identification parade.
On Twitter: Its hatrick for MODI 2002, 2007, 2012. Also hattrick for Rahul Gandhi. Gujarat, Uttar pradesh & Bihar -- Congress lost all 3 : #Live-gujarat-results
15:24 Gujarat 2012 provides closure to 2002 :
BJP's victory is effectively a closure to 2002. But it is unlikely that Modi will offer anything more than a purely symbolic doffing of his cap to heal the hurts of that calamitous year in his pursuit of greater glory, says Shreekant Sambrani on rediff.com. Read
15:21 The Ellis Bridge victory :
That's the BJP's Rakesh Shah celebrating his win against Jagruti Pandya, the widow of former state home minister Haren Pandya. They contested from the Ellis Bridge constituency. Pandya got less than 10,000 votes, while Shah cruised to victory with over 1 lakh votes. The revenge factor obviously had few takers. #Live-gujarat-results
15:10 Gadkari: Cong tried to play communal card but failed:
With the election results pointing towards a convincing victory for Narendra Modi in Gujarat, party president Nitin Gadkari today thanked the people of Gujarat for the success.
"Gujarat has given preference to the politics of development and the (BJP) government has in the country enhanced its prestige as a role model. The people of Gujarat have again chosen BJP under Narendra bhai for the development of the state," Gadkari said.
Gadkari accused the Congress of trying to play the communal card and said that all sections of the people had voted for the BJP. "The Congress tried to communalise the elections but all sections of the society contributed to the BJP victory for which I thank the people of Gujarat," Gadkari said. #Live-gujarat-resultsClick here for the latest tally.
15:00 Vivek Oberoi: Many congratulations to Narendra Modi for a thundering win in Gujarat! It is a victory for development, progress and committed leadership!
Only Christian MLA, Congress's Poonabhai Gamit wins the tribal Vyara seat in south Gujarat again.#Live-gujarat-results
14:39 Defeated Modhwadia resigns as GPCC president :
tweets: I accept voters' verdict and take responsibility of the results of my party. I tender my resignation from the post of GPCC president.
The Gujarat Congress president Arjun Modhwadia, seeking third consecutive term from Porbandar constituency, was defeated by his BJP rival Babu Bokhiria by a margin of 17,146 votes. Modhwadia, who had spearheaded a sustained and aggressive campaign against BJP, polled 60,458 votes while Bokhiria secured 77,604 votes. Modhwadia had won 2002 and 2007 polls from this constituency.
Incidentally, Narendra Modi polled 1,20,470 votes, while Shweta Bhatt got 34,097 votes. He had last time won the elections by over 87,000 votes.
14:31 Gujarat tally so far: BJP 122, Cong 56, Others 4 :
A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him. Good Morning ! Judgement day !
That's what Arjun Modhwadia
had tweeted today before counting began.
The tally so far in Gujarat (seats declared and won): BJP 122, Cong 56, Others 4
14:16 'Modi will decided who heads Gujarat if becomes PM': Parshottam Rupala
, the BJP's vice president at the national level spoke to Rediff.com's Prasanna D Zore
. He said that CM Narendra Modi will decide who will head Gujarat if he decides to become the party's prime ministerial candidate.
"Maintaining law and order, peace and an environment conducive for economic growth of six crore Gujaratis will be the chief priorities of the next BJP government. Not just six crore Gujaratis but all of India want to see him as the PM," said Rupala.
He said that the mandate in 2012 belongs to just one man and his 12 year rule has convinced Gujarati voters that only Modi has the capability to work for their progress without any discrimination. Full interview on rediff.com shortly.
While on discrimination, this is what CNN IBN's Sagarika Ghose tweets: BJP wins 8/12 Muslim constituencies in Gujarat. A new narrative?
14:07 BJP WINS from Godhra:
A surprising win is the one from Godhra. Chauhan Pravinsinh from the BJP won against CK Raulji of the Congress by 12771 votes. #Live-gujarat-results
14:02 Kind Karuna says Guj results show growth of Congress:
DMK chief M Karunanidhi, whose party is a key ally of the Congress led UPA at the Centre, today said the poll results of Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh showed the senior ally's growth.
"The poll results of the two states show the Congress is growing and BJP weakening," he told reporters here. Karunanidhi's remarks came even as Gujarat Chief Minster Narendra Modi secured a third consecutive term, while his party BJP ceded defeat in Himachal.
13:59 The figures so far (Leads and wins in Gujarat): BJP 122, Congress 56, Others 4 #Live-gujarat-results
13:56 Cong: Won ALL seats where Rahul campaigned :
Reactions: Amitabh Bachchan, who is the face of Gujarat tourism congratulates Narendra Modi on his win.
Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari: Congress has won in all the constituencies where Rahul Gandhi campaigned.
Yet, Rahul did NOT campaign in Maninagar for Shweta Bhatt.
Earlier today, Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa also congratulated Modi. #Live-gujarat-results
13:56 Modi has hit Cong where it hurts: Gohil, Modhwadia loses:
Rediff.com's Sheela Bhatt
reporting from New Delhi says Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi has hit the Congress where it hurts -- hard -- by ensuring the defeat of leaders like Shaktisinh Gohil and Arjun Modhwadia.
But Modi will have greater satisfaction when he sees Sonia Gandhi's political secretary Ahmed Patel who is the candidate from Bharuch Lok Sabha constituency swing to the BJP. It's most likely that three seats out of seven held by the Congress in Patel's native district of Bharuch will be going to BJP this year.
South Gujarat has saved Modi this time. The shocker to Ahmed Patel will be compounded because party senior leaders are losing except for Shankersinh Vaghela with whom Patel has a hot and cold relationship.
Modi may have been "successfully contained" at the national level as Finance minister P Chidambaram said today, but in Gujarat there remains no doubt that Modi has successfully contained Congress.#Live-gujarat-results
13:53 Narendra Modi to address victory rally at 5 pm today:
BJP's Tarun Vijay tells CNN IBN: "What Atal Behari Vajpayee did for India, Modi did for Gujarat. He is fit to be the next PM. He is the greatest leader since Vajpayee." Rediff.com's Sonil Dedhia
speaking to a BJP party worker says Narendra Modi, Gujarat's present and set-to-be-next chief minister, will address a victory rally at 5 pm outside the BJP headquarters in Ahmedabad.
Academic, feminist, writer Madhu Kishwar tweets: I am glad to be out of NDTV studio. They really did not want me to speak. Wonder why I was invited.#Live-gujarat-results
13:35 Sibal: Modi campaigned in 3D, but won in 2D:
Union minister for communications and technology Kapil Sibal says that despite Narendra Modi's 3D election campaign, the win remained just 2D. Modi campaigned at multiple places at the same time (highest count remains 58 on a single day) with the help of 3D holographic technology were announced. However, the very first 3D appearance had problems with the sound. It was also a dampener
with hundreds of chairs remaining vacant at the venue. #Live-gujarat-results
13:29 Narhari Amin: No question of me joining Guj cabinet: Rediff.com's Prasanna D Zore
reporting from Ahmedabad speaks to Narhari Amin, the Congress dissident who joined Narendra Modi a few weeks before the state went to the polls. "There is no question of me being in the next Gujarat cabinet," he says. #Live-gujarat-results
13:23 Rudy: Modi mandate has been reinforced:
Reactions from BJP's Rajiv Pratap Rudy, speaking to Rediff:
"It is a spectacular victory. Contrary to what Mr Chidambaram may say that Modi has been contained to 117, it is a great victory. The mandate has been reinforced by the people of Gujarat. He is the acceptable chief ministerial candidate. On his path being cleared for PM, he said this was a call for the party to take. Right now he has won a spectacular third term as CM and we must celebrate that."
12:56 I just had 17 days to connect with my voters: Shweta Bhatt: Congress' Shweta Bhatt
speaking to CNN IBN on whether Modi's win was a foregone conclusion from Maninagar. "Congress leaders have supported me. I have seen there is no progress, no change for the better in Maninagar. I had only 17 days to connect to my voters. I have given my 100 per cent to this election," says Bhatt.
To whether she will continue in politics, she says, our fight against fear and hate politics of Modi will continue. "There is no drinking water, gutters are running over. I will fight to get these for my constituency. If you call it politics, yes, I will continue in politics." #Live-gujarat-results
12:49 Maninagar: Modi defeats Shweta Bhatt by 86373 votes:
Final result from Maninagar, Narendra Modi's constituency. Modi defeats GPP's Shweta Bhatt by 86,373 votes.
Other results: Grish Parmar of the BJP loses from Danilimda (Gujarat)
Jesingbhai Chauhan of the BJP wins from Matar (Gujarat)
Madhabhai Parmer from the Congress wins from Sojitra (Gujarat)
12:45 HP: BJP concedes defeat, Guj: mooh meetha begins:
The BJP has conceded defeat in Himachal Pradesh with senior leader Shanta Kumar saying that the party accepted the poll verdict. "We accept the verdict. All people in the BJP had fought elections together. The people did not vote for us. We accept it," Shanta Kumar, a former Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister told reporters.
Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal appeared prepared to accept the worst. "Whatever people decide is good. It would be good if they support us, and good even if they don't. I will welcome the decision of people," he said as trends showed a decline in the party's fortunes. The Congress, which put up a spirited campaign under former Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, is all set to return to power in Himachal Pradesh.
Cong: 15, BJP: 7, Oth: 2
12:41 Big losses: Shwetha Bhatt (Cong), Gordhan Zadaphia (GPP) Jagruti Pandya (GPP)
Big Wins: Narendra Modi (BJP), Amit Shah (BJP), Saurabh Patel (BJP)
12:28 Paswan: Will NOT support Modi for PM:
More reactions to Modi's win. LJP's Ram Vilas Paswan says he will NOT support Modi's candidature as PM because he ignored the minority community (read Muslims) by refusing to give them a single ticket. On Sunday, Paswan had said that Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar appeared anxious about the outcome of Gujarat Assembly elections as it was likely to have a bearing on the JD(U) leader's political future, "Nitish must be praying that Modi should not do well in the Gujarat assembly polls.... If Modi wins handsomely, his prime ministerial ambition will get wings and that will put his Bihar counterpart in obvious discomfiture," Paswan said. #Live-gujarat-results
12:28 Jay Narayan Vyas, BJP, has lost from Sidhpur.Kanani Anani Shivabhai, BJP, has won from Varachha Road.
The tally so far: Seats declared: Gujarat: BJP: 40, Cong: 22, Others:7
Himachal Pradesh: Congress: 15, BJP: 7, Others: 2
12:24 Jethmalani: Modi's victory has strengthened way to Delhi:
Reactions coming in to Narendra Modi's win from Maninagar. Suspended BJP MP Ram Jethmalani (who has been a vociferous supporter of Modi as a PM candidate) said the third straight victory in Gujarat Assembly Polls has defined Modi as the prime ministerial candidate for the BJP in the next Lok Sabha polls. "Definitely," Jethmalani said when asked if the victory has strengthened Modi's contention for the Prime Minister's chair. #Live-gujarat-results
12:17 BJP: Modi led from the front, played a captain's innings:
Parshottam Rupala, who is the BJP vice-president at the national level: "Our expectation was to win all 182 seats, but that is not possible. It's like a student's parents expecting 95 per cent and he gets 89 per cent. That does not mean that they should be unhappy. We are happy we won. Narendra Modi has played a captain's innings and has led from the front.
Other results: Shaktisinh Gohil (Congress) loses from Bhavnagar (Rural) to
Purshottam Solanki (BJP).
Mahendrasinh Vaghela of the Congress has won from Bayad. #Live-gujarat-results
12:11 Guj election proves it is not open skies for Modi: Cong:
Congress leaders today conceded defeat in Gujarat, but said it was "not open skies" for Chief Minister Narendra Modi, nursing national ambitions. "This Gujarat election proves that it's not open skies for Narendra Modi," External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid told reporters apparently seeking to underline that the Chief Minister will not have an easy task ahead.
When asked why the Congress was unable to defeat Modi in Gujarat, Khurshid said, "Why is Modi not able to defeat us in the country." His remarks came in the backdrop of a section of the BJP projecting Modi as the most prominent prime ministerial candidate of the party in the next Lok Sabha polls.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath sought to project the trends in Gujarat as an indication of improving popularity of Congress in the BJP-ruled state.
"In Gujarat, BJP had made tall claims that it will get 150 seats and that there will be a wave in its favour. But it has now been proved that Congress has emerged stronger and BJP is weak now," he told reporters outside Parliament House. #Live-gujarat-results
12:11 Gangrape victim stable; heart, kidneys OK: Docs:
The team of doctors from Safdarjung Hospital are holding a press conference to provide updates on the condition of the gang-rape victim. The doctors say the girl is alert and conscious and has been put on ventilator throughout. Calling her a brave girl, the doctors say the the challenge is to keep her infection free. "Her survival is our prime concern and how she fares after 10 days is to be seen. He heart and kidney are working fine," they said.
11:59 Delhi gang-rape vicitm is STABLE: Docs:
And some heartening news. Doctors at Safdarjung Hospital say the Delhi gang-rape victim continues to be stable. The news alert comes probably after rumours since last night that she had passed away as a result of the grievous injuries she received when the six men gang-raped her on Sunday night. Docs says she has regained consciousness and her condition, while still critical, is stable. "But it will be a challenge to ensure she is kept infection-free and gangrene does not set in," say doctors who are treating her.
11:54 Cong's develoment plank: The Ghar nu Ghar scheme :
So, the Congress will not get a chance to implement its Ghar nu Ghar scheme. In August, the Congress announced a scheme called Ghar nu Ghar by which Gujarati women (and their families) would be eligible to avail themselves of low-cost housing should the Congress come to power in the forthcoming elections.
Women across the state besieged Congress party offices seeking beneficiary forms despite the fact that the scheme would only come into effect if Congress won the election.
The response to Congress's ploy caught Modi off guard when he was already feeling vulnerable on social-development issues -- especially since the Gujarat housing board, a state-run body, had not launched a single low-cost housing scheme in a decade.
Compelled to respond, Modi quietly secured special budgetary allocation of Rs 1,600 crore (Rs 16 billion) and launched a low-cost housing scheme in which below-poverty-line households would receive Rs 45,000 towards the cost of new home construction.#Live-gujarat-results
11:50 Wins and losses:
More results coming in: Patel Tejashreeben Dilipkumar from the Congress wins from Viramgam.
Naranbhai Chudasama from the BJP wins from Mangrol.
Fakir Vaghela from the BJP wins from Vadgam. #Live-gujarat-results
11:47 We had better development plans: Congress workers: Rediff.com's Prasanna A Zore
reporting from Ahmedabad:
A couple of meters away from Rajiv Gandhi Bhavan, which is where the Congress has its state headquarters a motley group discuss the Gujarat poll results. Rahil Shaikh, Javid Baghban and Sohil Solanki, all Congress workers have been analysing the results streaming in on the TV set before them. "We are a bit dejected by the results," says Solanki. All four believe that the Congress could have done better.
"We were upbeat when there was record turnout in both the phases," says Baghban, "but now that the leads are in BJP's favour, we are naturally upset. We had a better development programme than the BJP," he says.
So far Modi is leading with a whopping 81,644 votes from Maninagar, an obvious win against Shweta Bhatt. #Live-gujarat-results
The future on the placard? That's a picture by Reuben NV from Ahmedabad.
11:33 Cong: We are happy to have a larger vote share:
With BJP set to win in Gujarat, Union Law minister Ashwani Kumar today said that there was no comparison between Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and Modi at the national stage. "Congress represents secular, inclusive politics of the country. Rahul Gandhi will be the top leader to lead the campaign from the front," Kumar said referring to the Lok Sabha elections that are expected to be held in 2014.
Speaking about the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh election results, Kumar said Congress had enlarged its vote base. "We are winning by a much larger number of votes (in Himachal Pradesh), I am happy," Kumar further said.
Meanwhile, mooh mitha begins in Gujarat. Narendra Modi has apparently sent out sweets to people gathered outside his residence in Gandhinagar. Modi won the Maninagar seat with a margin of 75,000 votes. #Live-gujarat-results
A BJP supporter outside the party HQ at Ahmedabad. Pic Reuben NV
11:27 Cong: We are gaining, BJP win contained to 117 seats :
speaking to TV channels says the BJP has been contained to 117 seats, which means the Congress is gaining. BJP's Seshadri Chari
plays down Narendra Modi's win saying all CMs have performed well and that the decision on the PM's post will be taken later. "This poll is not on deciding the PM," he says categorically.
More results coming in:
BJP's Arvindkumar Patel has won from Sabarmati.
BJP's Rathava Savajibhai wins from Jetpur
BJP's Praful Patel loses from Himatnagar
GPP's Jagruti Pandya loses (Haren Pandya's widow of slain BJP leader, Haren Pandya is locked in a 'revenge' fight in Ellis Bridge seat. Rediff.com's Sheela Bhatt
says South Gujarat has proved to be the saviour for Narendra Modi. #Live-gujarat-results
11:16 BJP on Modi's win: Poll doesn't decide PM candidate:
Outside the BJP office in Ahmedabad, celebrations have already begun. The BJP leads in 115 seats against the Congress' 64. And another win for the BJP with Saurabh Patel winning from Akota.
BJP chief Spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad on whether Modi will now head to Delhi: "Modi bhai has always been an important leader in the BJP... We are not a dynastic party which is led by a Yuvaraj [he means Rahul Gandhi}. We function in a pure democratic fashion."
Caps, banners and festoons being sold outside the BJP HQ in Ahmedabad. Pic: Reuben NV
11:08 Modi aide Amit Shah wins from Naranpura :
Lead figures so far: GUJARAT
BJP: 111 (wins 4)
Others: 7Amit Shah
, Modi's right hand man and an accused in the alleged fake encounters of Sohrabhuddin Sheikh and Tulsiram Prajapati, wins from Naranpura. Read
the definitive Amit Shah interview on Rediff.com.
11:02 Cong's Guj HQ nearly empty, workers sombre:
At the deserted Congress headquarters Rajiv Gandhi Bhavan, at Ellis Bridge in Ahmedabad, a sombre Chetan Raval, who is the state Congress spokesperson said, "The party needs to introspect why it could not communicate its progressive agenda to the people. But the BJP has not displayed such a strong show of strength either and that should give some hope to our party. Let us wait for the results before we reach any decisive conclusion."
The Congress workers, barely a few, who had gathered at the party headquarters were understandably sombre. #Live-gujarat-results
Three Congress leaders Arjun Modhawadia, Shaktisinh Gohil and Sidhdharth Patel are trailing. Gordhan Zadafia loses from Gondal. BJP's Jayrajsinh has won. #Live-gujarat-results
10:51 Other seats declared: Narendra Modi wins from Maninagar, Congress candidate Tejshri Patel wins from Viramgam. -- Sheela Bhatt
10:46 We have to forgive, forgive: Gujarat Muslims on Modi:
reporting from outside the BJP HQ in Ahmedabad speaks to Mohammed Sajjad and Mohammed Shaikh who dropped by. They says they are are confident of Modi's victory. "There is no one who can defeat him. He has done a lot to develop Gujarat," says Shaikh.
Ask Mohammed Sajjid about the Godhra riots and he says, "That's a thing of the past. In the last 10 years there hasn't been a single day where there's been a call for curfew in Gujarat. We have to forgive and forget and move ahead. I am sure of Modi's victory."
'It's not difficult for Modi to convince Muslims' #Live-gujarat-results
10:34 Who leads, who trails in Gujarat:
State Congress president Arjun Modhwadia
and Leader of Opposition Shaktisinh Gohil
were trailing in Porbandar and Bhavnagar(rural) seats respectively.
, a former chief minister and Gujarat Parivartan Party president, who broke away from BJP months ahead of the elections, is leading from Visavadar.
Modi's right hand man Amit Shah
, (in picture)
accused in alleged fake encounters of Sohrabhuddin Sheikh and Tulsiram Prajapati, is leading from Naranpura.
Another Modi confidante and minister Anandiben Patel
was leading in Ghatlodia, but minister and state government spokesman Jaynarayan Vyas
was trailing in Siddhpur.
Jagruti Pandya, wife of slain BJP leader, Haren Pandya,
locked in a 'revenge' fight in Ellis Bridge seat, is trailing her BJP rival. Pandya's family had blamed Modi for the murder of Haren Pandya, who was twice elected from the seat.
Trends from 14 constituencies are still awaited. The halfway mark is 91.
10:29 I never wanted Modi to join politics, says his brother:
An interview with a man who knows Modi when he was a child -- his brother -- Somabhai Modi. In this candid interview with Rediff.com's Sheela Bhatt
and Sonil Dedhia
, the 69-year-old recalls their childhood days, narrates stories about his sibling's culinary skills, and explains why he is happy with his progress despite Narendra Modi taking a different way. Read#Live-gujarat-results
10:26 Sheela Bhatt says the Congress is regaining North Gujarat, and overall it may improve its tally to 60-plus seats. The BJP has established a firm grip, leading in 109 seats.
10:25 'Maninagar's strongman will soon be India's PM':
As the BJP surges ahead and Narendra Modi is set to become the chief minister for the third time, read this piece by Prasanna Zore on the second and final day of the Gujarat polls on December 17. Read#Live-gujarat-results
10:17 Modi set for hat-trick, leads with 20,000 votes:
The ruling BJP appeared set to perform a hat-trick in Gujarat while trends reversed in favour of Congress in Himachal Pradesh where it could wrest power from the saffron party.
Official trends in the counting of votes that began this morning projected Chief Minister Narendra Modi capturing power for the third consecutive time worsting Congress.
The BJP was projected as leading in as many as 113 seats while the Congress was leading in 63. The NCP was leading in one while 'others' including the Gujarat Parivartan Party headed by Keshubhai Patel in six.
In the 182-member Assembly, the BJP had won 117 in the last elections in 2007 while Congress got 59.
More trends: BJP leading in 114 , Congress 62, GPP 4
BJP MLA Jethabhai Bharwad
, minister Narottam Patel leading.Narendra Modi
leading with 40000 votes in Maninagar Amit Shah
leading with a margin of nearly 35,000 votes, Saurabh Patel
also leading with 18,000 margin. Both, as you know, are close aides of Modi. #Live-gujarat-results
Some more trends from Sheela Bhatt
: Congress's Indraneel Rajyaguru leads in Rajkot1 by 600 votes in a high profile contest against the BJP's Kashyap Shukla.
GPP secretary and heavyweight leader of Leuva Patels, Gordhan Zadafia, is all set to lose in Gondal, he is trailing by over 7800 votes. #Live-Gujarat-results
Some more trends from Sheela Bhatt
: Urban development minister Nitin Patel is trailing from Mehsana. Apart from Jaynarayan Vyas and Dilip Sanghani, Fakir Vaghela is another minister who is trailing. And on the Congress side, leader of opposition Shaktisinh Gohil is also trailing.
In Umargam, the BJP is leading by 4970, in Dharampur the BJP is leading by 2000, and in Kaparada the Congress is leading by 7000.
Overall, it is obvious Chief Minister Narendra Modi is set to form the next government. The only question is, with how many seats? #Live-Gujarat-results
Some trends, courtesy Sheela Bhatt
: The BJP is trailing in Sanand, where the Tata Nano factory is located. Gujarat Agriculture Minister Dilip Sanghani is trailing by 4000 votes. Keshubhai Patel is leading from Visavadar. Jaynarayan Vyas, another minister, is also trailing.
And in Saurashtra, the leading trends is like this: BJP 20, Congress 19, GPP 2. #Live-Gujarat-results
10:09 HP CM Dhumal acknowledges defeat:
As trends showed reverses for BJP in Himachal Pradesh, Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal today appeared prepared even for a defeat.
"Whatever people decide is good. It would be good if they support us, and good even if they don't. I will welcome the decision of people," he said when asked to react on the declining trends of his party's seat in the state. Earlier when the trends showed that the BJP was leading in the state, Dhumal had voiced confidence of a victory in the polls. "I am very confident (for a win)," he had said.
While Congress was leading on 35 seats, BJP after initial gains, slowed down to 24 seats in Himachal Pradesh's 68 member legislative assembly.
10:01 Cong: Gujarat seems to be going the Modi way:
In Gujarat: Amit Shah
leads in Naranpura.Narendra Mod
i leads in Maninagar, foregone conclusion. Will Shweta Bhatt lose her deposit?
Leader of the opposition in the Gujarat assembly Shaktisinh Gohil
trailing in Bhavnagar (rural).Gordhan Zadaphia
, former Gujarat BJP leader, trailing.
Meanwhile, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi tells TV channels that Gujarat seems to be going the Narendra Modi way. That's probably the first sign that the Congress has conceded defeat.
09:55 Trends indicate people are rejecting Cong: BJP:
With early trends indicating that the BJP was leading in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, BJP today said it is a vote for corruption-free good governance and showed that the people are rejecting Congress.
BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said early trends indicate that the BJP is returning to power in both Gujarat and Himachal.
"It is a vote for corruption-free good governance and it showed that the people are rejecting Congress," he said. The BJP was leading in both Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh over Congress in the assembly elections for which the counting of votes began today. #Live-gujarat-results
As we await more results from Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, India test-fires the indigenously developed nuclear capable Prithvi-II missile from a test range in Odisha.
09:44 As expected Modi leads in Maninagar :
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi was leading in Maninagar constituency here. At the end of first round of counting, Modi is way ahead of his Congress rival Shweta Bhatt. Modi has polled 8780 votes, while Bhatt has got 1015 votes, state election office sources said.
State Congress chief Arjun Modhwadia is trailing his BJP rival in Porbandar, while Gordhan Zadafia, general secretary of Gujarat Parivartan Party is also behind his BJP rival in Gondal.
09:43 BJP: Stop PM for Modi rants, Cong must look at loss:
In Himachal Pradesh Congress takes the lead. But BJP CM PK Dhumal, says he's so confident of winning that he has already been talking to rebel BJP MLAs.
BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitaraman
dodges the now-looming question of Narendra Modi as PM. She says the Congress should now dwell on why they will lose for the third consecutive time.
09:25 Media gets figures wrong, BJP will win Himachal: CM :
Himachal Pradesh chief minister Prem Kumar Dhoomal says he is confident that the BJP will retain power in the state. Right now, Dhoomal is leading from the Hamirpur constituency.
Speaking to rediff.com,
Dhoomal said that since the government has opened a good account during the last tenure by spending over Rs 8,000 crore on various welfare schemes, his party would retain power.
"We are way ahead of the Congress. The media has been giving all sorts of figures. At one stage, the BJP and the Congress were placed on par. Let us see what happens now," he said on phone from Shimla. -- Onkar Singh.
Leads so far. Congress: 19, BJP: 19. 49/68 #Live-gujarat-results
Shaktisinh Gohil, leader of Opposition in Gujarat Assembly is trailing in Bhavnagar city (south).
09:12 Who leads, who trails :
Shah is an accused in Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Tulsi Prajapati fake encounter cases. He returned to Gujarat after a gap of two years following the Supreme Court judgment allowing him to enter the state, rejecting the Central Bureau of Investigation plea to cancel the bail granted to him in the 2005 Sohrabuddin encounter case.
"The false case of the CBI against me is the biggest issue in my constituency," Shah said replying to a media query of cases against him and being given a ticket owning to close proximity with Modi.
"When the poll results are out you all will see that I shall win with landslide margin due to this reason only. Entire Gujarat knows that this case is false, and is politically motivated," he claimed. "The case has been framed against me by misusing the CBI," he said.
GPCC chief Arjun Modhwadia is trailing in Porbander.
Gordhan Zadaphia, former state home minister during the Godhra riots, and now with the Keshubhai Patel's Gujarat Parivartan Party is trailing.
Vitthal Radadia (the gun totting BJP MLA who was suspended from the party) leads.
09:05 Encounter tainted MLA Amit Shah leads :
Gujarat: Amit Shah, accused of being involved in two fake encounter cases, is leading from the Naranpura constituency of the city, after he is out on bail. Anandiben Patel, who is rumoured to be Modi's successor if goes to Delhi, is also leading. In Godhra, Congress is leading.
Gujarat MP Smriti Irani tells CNN IBN (looking exhausted after taking to the streets in protest of the Delhi gang-rape all of yesterday) that if she had to vote for PM, it would be for Modi. #Live-gujarat-results
08:56 Leads so far :
Gujarat: BJP: 33, Congress: 14 49/182
Himachal: BJP: 7, Congress:2 9/68#Live-gujarat-results
08:52 Chief Election Commissioner VS Sampath says that the results will be in or at least clear by 12:30 pm at the very latest.
08:50 Modi opponent Shweta Bhatt trails in Maninagar:
In Gujarat's Maninagar, Shweta Bhatt trails. Remember, Bhatt, is the wife of suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt, and filed her nomination as the Congress candidate from the Maninagar assembly constituency AGAINST Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
In fact, early trends show BJP leads in Gujarat. Read
Shweta Bhatt's interview on rediff.com.
08:38 First leads in...:
The first leads are in:
In Gujarat: Congress and allies lead by five seats, BJP by 3.
Congress gains in Sanand, Amreli, Rajkot (W). BJP holds in Junagadh, Sabarmati, Ellisbridge. Gains in Dholka.
In Himachal Pradesh: Congress and BJP neck and neck with one seat each.
Congress' Vidya Stokes leads #Live-gujarat-results
for one seat in Gujarat has come in.
08:30 'If Modi wins, he will stake claim for PM's post':
Narendra Modi is one of India's most divisive political figures -- celebrated by many for generating economic growth and attracting private investment to his state and detested by others as the worst manifestation of Hindu chauvinism in India for his controversial role in the horrific violence against Muslims in the state in 2002.
The outcome of the 2012 election will help determine whether Modi can parlay his success in Gujarat into a more prominent position on the national stage in advance of 2014 parliamentary elections. Read
the analysis by Milan Vaishnav,
an associate in the South Asia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, on rediff.com.
08:23 Modi sitting pretty as counting begins:
The post-poll survey in Gujarat of 3755 persons at 239 locations in 60 constituencies in Gujarat shows that Modi is going to better the 2002 and 2007 results and win by a very handsome margin.
08:19 2/3rd win for BJP, predicts Amit Shah:
Counting begins in both Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh. Gujarat CM Narendra Modi and his close aide Amit Shah are confident that it will be a hat-trick for the BJP government in the state. Shah says he expects a 2/3rd majority with Modi as the CM.
Pic: The Times of India page 1 on the Gujarat polls, a take on Dabangg 2 obviously
08:13 Counting of postal ballots begin:
While the counting of votes has indeed begun for both Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat, postal ballots will be counted first, while EVMs will open at 8.30am.#Live-gujarat-results
08:09 Narendra Modi's tweet this morning: No need of looking behind, FORWARD! We want infinite energy, infinite courage, infinite patience...
08:04 Modi targets 150 hurdles:
This is what the papers have on the polls. Manini Chatterjee
for the Telegraph
: The man on the make-shift stage shouts: "Dekho, dekho, dekho kaun aaya hai. Gujarat ka sher aaya hai (look, look, look who is here. The Lion of Gujarat has arrived).'The assembled crowd in the congested alley of Dariyapur breaks into wild applause. Read
07:48 Gujarat, Himachal polls: Counting to begin at 8 am:
Good morning and welcome to our Live! commentary on our special coverage of the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh polls. The counting of votes is set to begin at 8 am and results should be in by 4 pm at the outset.
Counting of votes for the 2012 Gujarat assembly elections, which witnessed a historic 71.32 per cent voter turnout, will be held today for all the 182 constituencies across the state.
Polling was held in two phases on December 13 and 17, and the counting will begin at 8 am at 33 places in the state where 44,579 Electronic Voting Machines have been kept in strong rooms under heavy security.Chief Minister Narendra Modi is seeking a third straight term in office and pollsters have predicted a landslide for the Bharatiya Janata Party.
A big win will viably consolidate Modi's position in the saffron party. The assembly elections were virtually a three-way fight with rebel BJP leader Keshubhai Patel, a former chief minister, launching his political outfit Gujarat Parivartan Party months ahead of the polls and the main opposition Congress running a sustained and aggressive campaign against Modi.
The Congress had lost power in the key western state in 1990. Apart from the three main contenders, 33 other parties are also trying their luck at the hustings. Posting a record turnout, 71.32 per cent electorate had exercised their franchise. Electoral fate of 1,666 candidates including Modi, his cabinet colleagues, and Congress stalwarts such as party's state president Arjun Modhwadia, Leader of Opposition Shaktisinh Gohil and former Chief Minister Shankarsinh Vaghela would be decided.Election Commission sources said postal ballots would be taken up during the first half-hour of counting followed by 2,71,58,626 votes cast in the two phases of polling.
"Within 3-4 hours, trends will be available for all 182 constituencies and hopefully by 4 pm all results will be declared," sources said.
02:45 Hundreds stage candle-light vigil at India Gate:
Hundreds of people, including students, members of civil society groups and lawmakers, gathered at the India Gate on Wednesday evening to stage a candlelight vigil for the 23-year-old physiotherapy student who was gang-raped in a moving private bus on Sunday night.
Similar protests were staged in several other cities across the country as people reacted in anger to the horrific crime that has left the girl in a critical state in Delhi's Safdarjung Hospital.
01:05 Policemen to be deployed in state buses in Jaipur:
Rajasthan authorities have decided to deploy policemen in uniform as well as plain clothes in state transport buses in Jaipur, in the wake of the gangrape of a girl in a moving bus in Delhi that sparked public outrage.
Police commissioner B L Soni ordered that policemen will be deployed in buses of Jaipur City Transport Services in selected routes of the city to provide security to women passengers.
He also said that there will be regular police patrolling near girl's colleges and schools. A 23-year-old paramedical student was gang-raped in a moving bus on Sunday night in Delhi.
00:41 Russia parliament says no to US adoptions: AFP
reports: Russia's lower house of parliament gave key support today to a bill banning adoptions by Americans, in a retaliatory move against US rights legislation that has strained relations between the two sides.
The so-called Dima Yakovlev bill was drafted after US lawmakers last week adopted the Magnitsky Act -- legislation targeting Russians allegedly involved in the 2009 prison death of anti-corruption whistleblower Sergei Magnitsky.
The Russian legislation is expected to be approved in a final reading by the State Duma on Friday, followed by the upper house of parliament.
00:16 Afghan boy found alive in suitcase at Italian port:
reports: The police in Venice have discovered an undocumented five-year-old Afghan boy hidden in the suitcase of a man getting off a ferry from Greece.
Ali Shaker, 35, of Afghanistan, told police he was a family friend who had been asked by the child's parents to take the boy to some relatives in Germany.
Antonio De Franchis, the border patrol agent who found the child, Assim, on December 4, told AFP that Shaker was 'incredibly calm' when he was stopped.