Saturday, February 26, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Bihar heads for hung Assembly

NEW DELHI, Feb 25 (PTI, UNI) — Bihar appeared headed for hung Assembly tonight with the BJP-led alliance’s bid for power blunted by a spirited fightback from the ruling RJD as the BJD-BJP alliance was set to sweep the Congress out of power in Orissa.

In Bihar the RJD was all set to emerge as the single largest party in the 324-member House. The RJD alliance had won 16 seats and its candidates were leading in about a 100 while the NDA had won 27 seats but was leading only in 88 of the 255 seats from which trends were available.

With the spectre of a hung Assembly looming large in Bihar, ruling RJD supremo and former Chief Minister Laloo Prasad Yadav, who won from two constituencies — Raghopor and Danapur — expressed confidence of retaining power.

The Congress has won five seats and was ahead in 17.

The BJP-BJD cyclone was sweeping away the Congress in the coastal state of Orissa. The BJP-BJD combine had won 42 of the 55 results declared so far and has established comfortable leads in about 80 seats. The BJD had won 22 and the BJP 20.

Mr Naveen Patnaik, Union Minister for Steel and Mines and Chief Ministerial aspirant, was leading by 10,816 votes over his nearest Congress rival in Hinjli.

Though Chief Minister Hemananda Biswal retained the Laikera seat for the sixth time, all but one of his 27 ministers bit the dust.

In Manipur, the ruling Manipur State Congress Party (MSCP) made up for early losses to bag eight of the 21 results declared. The Congress was a close second with five while the alliance partners MPP had won two.

In the Kannauj Lok Sabha byelection, Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav’s son Akhilesh Yadav defeated Akbar Ahmed Dumpy (BSP) by 58,725 votes. In Bellary, vacated by Congress President Sonia Gandhi, party candidate K. Basavana Gouda defeated combined BJP-JD(U) opposition nominee K.S. Veerabhadrappa by 96,020 votes.

In the byelections to eight assembly constituencies in Uttar Pradesh, the BJP and the SP won three seats each and the BSP one. One result (Pratapgarh), where the BJP candidate Brajesh Kumar was leading over his SP rival Usha Singh till the 20th round of counting, was withheld.

In the Rajasthan Assembly byelections, the Congress and the BJP won two each with one seat going to an Independent.

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