The faint picture predicted by the exit polls in five states is gradually getting clearer as initial trends of vote count have started coming out. The BJP has managed to score big with a remarkable comeback in the politically-crucial Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
The same can be said for Congress which ahead in 63 seats in the 117-member Punjab assembly. However, the SAD-BJP coalition's show can't be termed too bad as predicted by some exit polls.
It can also be termed as the verdict on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's sudden decision in November to abolish high-denomination banknotes to rein in corruption.
UP is the state that formed the backbone of Modi’s Lok Sabha campaign in 2014 when the BJP won 71 of 80 seats.
It was termed as Modi tsunami. It seems that the same tsunami has resurrected in the state.
Elections in India are notoriously hard to predict and exit polls are often proved wrong. Pollsters were left red-faced in 2015 after predicting a BJP win in Bihar. The actual result proved to be otherwise.
But this time, even the first 60 minutes of vote counting mirrored the public sentiments.
The surge of BJP in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Manipur has marginalised all other parties thanks to the sweeping Modi wave.
Even in Punjab and Goa, the party has not performed poorly as predicted by some exit polls.
The only silverlining for Congress can be seen in Punjab where it has capitalised on SAD-BJP's shortcomings. The Aam Aadmi party too has made considerable gains in the state where it is in close contest with SAD-BJP for the second spot.
Here is a look at current standings:
The BJP has stolen an early march over its rivals forging ahead in 290 constituencies, leaving rivals SP-Congress combine and the BSP far behind going by trends available during the first two hours of counting.
The nascent SP-Congress coalition was ahead in 63 of the total 403 seats in the state while Mayawati's party was leading in only 26 places.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh's son Pankaj Singh was leading in Noida. Tainted minister Gayatri Prajapati, who is absconding after the UP Police booked him in an alleged gangrape case and attempt to rape a minor, was leading in Amethi.
The opposition Congress is surging ahead in at least 63 seats in the 117-member Punjab assembly, followed by the SAD-BJP in 27 and AAP in 26 seats, as per early trends.
Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal was leading in his pocket borough Lambi constituency. 89-year-old Badal was leading over his nearest rival Captain Amarinder Singh of the Congress as per early trends available.
Captain Singh, who is also fighting from his traditional stronghold Patiala, was leading in that seat.
Among the seats in which Congress was ahead included Amritsar Central, Tarn Taran, Khadoor Sahib, Jalandhar West (R), Chabbewal (R), Anandpur Sahib, Fatehgarh Sahib, Dharamkot, Baluana (Reserve), Gidderbaha, Faridkot, Rajpura and Patiala seats. Congress, which has been out of power in Punjab for past ten years, is seeking to wrest power from the ruling SAD-BJP combine.
Aam Aadmi Party, which made the contest triangular this time, contested its maiden assembly election in Punjab.
Even in Manipur, the opposition BJP is leading in 11 seats while the Congress is ahead in 11 constituencies after the first round of counting.
Manipur chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh (INC) is leading over Leitanthem Basanta Singh (BJP) in Thoubal assembly seat by over 2000 votes. Human rights activist Irom Sharmila of PRJA is trailing behind by securing just 26 votes in Thoubal.
While the BJP is leading in Konthoujam, Chandel and Thangmeiband, the Congress is leading in Lilong. The Naga People's Front is leading in Mao (ST) Assembly seat. Elections to the 60-member Manipur Assembly were held in two phases on March 4 and 8.
The hilly state may see BJP back in power with a thumping majority as it is leading in 51 seats in the 70-member assembly. The Congress is ahead in just 15 constituencies while others are leading in 4 seats.
The indications favour the saffron party which is slated to rule Uttarakhand after being in the opposition in the past five years.
As of now, there is absolutely no sign of AAP in Goa. The only neck-and-neck contest is being seen between the Congress and the ruling bjp which is trailing its rival by just two seats. The Congress is leading in 11 seats while the saffron party is ahead in 8 seats. This may turn out to be a close contest between the two arch-rivals.
(With inputs from PTI)