The Congress Party, which won the Hindi heartland states of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Rajasthan in the assembly elections in December last year, is trailing in Lok Sabha polls in all the three states, as per official Election Commission trends.
In both Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, Congress is leading on just one seat out of the total 25 and 29, respectively, while in Chhattisgarh, it is trailing on 9 seats out of the 11, according to the trends three hours after counting started at 8 am.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is leading on the remaining seats in the three states.
The trends come as a surprise, especially in Chhattisgarh, where Congress had won 68 seats out of the 90 in the assembly polls. The BJP, which had ruled the state for 15 years, managed to win only 15.
In Rajasthan, the Congress had won 99 seats out of the 200. One short of the majority, the party managed to form the government with the help of one seat won by its ally Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD). Lastly, in Madhya Pradesh, it had emerged as a leading party with 114 seats after a cliff hanger fight.
Trends indicate that Congress has failed to capitalise on the momentum it gained last year after winning the three Hindi-belt states, with BJP set to sweep all three.
Overall, BJP looks to settle with a comfortable majority with leads on over 290 seats, much ahead of the halfway mark. While the Congress is ahead on 51. The Lok Sabha polls that commenced on April 11 and wrapped up on May 19, saw approximately 900 million voters exercising their franchise and deciding the fate of 7,928 candidates across 542 seats in the country. Out of those candidates, 724 were women and four were transgenders.