After days of feverish campaigning and over a month of polling across five states in the country, the judgement day has come. Who will win Uttar Pradesh? Will Okram Ibobi Singh come back as the chief minister of Manipur for the fourth term? Will AAP make a mark in Goa and Punjab? Will Captain Amarinder Singh see victory? Who will win in Uttarakhand? The answers will become clear in a matter of hours. For analysis, opinion on the outcomes follow our blog with key insights and observations and for updates on star candidates, big wins and losses click here.
7:35 pm: Modi The Most Dominant Person With A Country-Wide Appeal, Says P Chidambaram
6:57 pm: Laxmikant Parsekar Submits Resignation As Goa Heads For Hung Assembly
Meanwhile in Goa, Laxmikant Parsekar submits resignation to governor. The BJP has only won 13 seats. The Congress has won 16, and is still leading in one. It is likely to be a hung assembly
However Minister Manohar Parrikar says the BJP may stake claim if they have enough votes:
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6:38 pm: The Key Contenders For UP CM, According To BJP Sources
BJP sources in conversation with HuffPost India have given a list of candidates who could become chief minister of Uttar Pradesh.
a) BJP national secretary Srikant Sharma. He won from Mathura against Congress's Pradeep Mathur
b) Ghazipur MP and Union telecom minister Manoj Sinha is also among the top contenders.
c) UP BJP chief Keshav Prasad Maurya is also a big contender. He is the BJP's OBC face.
d) Dinesh Sharma, who is known to be close to the RSS. He is the mayor of Lucknow and also the national vice president in-charge of Gujarat.
6:19 pm: This Is A Victory Of Schemes By Narendra Modi, Says Uttar Pradesh BJP Chief
Speaking at a press conference after their resounding victory, the Uttar Pradesh BJP chief Keshav Prasad Maurya said, "This is a victory for the schemes started by Narendra Modi."
"The voters have made the slogan 'ab ki baar 300 paar' come true," he said.
"I want to thank all the journalists for the bottom of our hearts on behalf of the BJP," he told the media present at the press conference.
5:32 pm: Long Live Democracy, PM Narendra Modi Tweets To Rahul Gandhi
Prime Minister Narendra tweeted at Rahul Gandhi after he congratulated him.
5:05 pm: I Am Sure Next Govt Will Do Better Job, Says Akhilesh Yadav
Accepting the verdict of the people, Akhilesh Yadav conceded defeat saying, "I am sure the next government will do a better job."
"Perhaps people did not like the Express Way, perhaps they want a bullet train," Akhilesh told the media.
Despite the failure he said, "Alliance with Congress will continue."
Akhilesh said that the voters at the grassroot levels did not know what they wanted. "The poor in the state have told me that after demonetisation, the poor will get money from the black money that returns to the government. I want to see how much money they get."
"I will wait and watch how they do better work than the Samajwadi Party," he said.
On Mayawati's allegations that EVMs were rigged, he said:
Saying he was the chief minister and the face of the elections, "I will take responsibility of loss."
Joking about the party symbol he said, "Humari cycle toh tubeless cycle thi (Our cycle did not have a tube)."
5:00 pm: Our Fight Will Not End Till We Win The Hearts And Minds Of People, Says Rahul Gandhi
4:30 pm: Win In Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand Humbling And Overwhelming, Says PM Narendra Modi
After BJP saw big wins in the crucial states of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a series of tweets, thanked people who voted for the BJP, workers of the party and said that he was extremely grateful for and was humbled by the support his party saw.
There was a special mention for Amit Shah for his work.
3:47 pm: People Of Uttar Pradesh Have Gone Beyond Religion, Says Amit Shah
Answering questions about a polarised campaign, Amit Shah said, "The people of Uttar Pradesh have gone beyond religion, people present here (journalists) are stuck on it, and should move forward too."
He said that the only reason that BJP won was because of Narendra Modi's governance. "The poor couldn't imagine having toilets, gas, electricity. The poor people of the country are all behind PM Modi. This has nothing to do with caste, religion or creed."
When asked if he was going to be the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, he said, "I have a lot of work, and I am not even a voter of UP."
Shah also credited schemes like Jan Dhan Yojana for the win, "More than 7 crore people in the country did not have bank accounts, PM Modi got them bank accounts."
3:36 pm: BJP Will Form Government In Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa And Manipur, Says Amit Shah
Addressing a press conference in the BJP headquarters in Delhi BJP President Amit Shah said that the elections results were exciting for the BJP.
"Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa and in Manipur the BJP will form government. Even if we have lost in Punjab, we got a lot of votes."
"These results will give a new direction to the politics of this country," he said.
Thanking the workers for their work, he congratulated them. He also showered much praise on PM Modi.
"PM Modi is the most loved leader after independence," Shah said.
Shah said that there will be a parliamentary board meeting at 6 pm tomorrow after which the party will announce chief ministers.
3:15 pm Congress Wasn't In A Position To Win In Uttar Pradesh, Says Kapil Sibal
Congress leader Kapil Sibal, admitting defeat, told NDTV, "The Congress party was not in a position to be victorious in Uttar Pradesh either way. That is why we went for an alliance."
When asked if Rahul Gandhi was to be held responsible for their route, Sibal said, "If Modi went to Punjab and campaigned in Punjab, is the victory of the Congress a defeat for Modi?"
"The defeat or victory of a particular party is contextual. There is no real organisation on the ground or money power strong enough to take on the BJP," he said and added, "If you take the UP results, it astounding. It surprised me, it even surprised the BJP. I cannot attribute it to any logical reasons for it," he told NDTV.
3:00 pm: The Latest In Numbers From All Five States
2:52 pm: Amit Shah Gets Grand Welcome BJP Headquarters
2:09 pm: Rajnath's Singh's Son Pankaj Wins From Noida
2:05 pm: This How A Ghaziabad Tea Seller Celebrated BJP's UP Win
2:00 pm: Time To Face That Voters' Mood Has Changed, Yogendra Yadav On Mayawati's EVM Allegations
Reacting to BSP leader Mayawati's allegations that EVMs had been tampered, the ever so poised Yogendra Yadav said:
1:38 pm: Voting Machines Registered Votes Only For BJP, Says Mayawati
BSP leader Mayawati has blamed EVMs for her loss. She said, "Voting machines did not register votes for any party apart from the BJP."
Refusing to take responsibility for her loss, she claimed elections were rigged previously as well. "BJP is a party that did not even field one Muslim candidate, and still they won."
She said that a journalist had spoken about this in one of her press conference. "I ignored him. But now I know that he was correct. Today he can't even be seen."
"It's a shocking result in BJP," she said.
Mayawati dared the BJP, "If they are not dishonest, the BJP should ask the Chief Election Commissioner to go back to the old ballot system."
"They are killing the democracy," adding that it was surprising that even in Muslim majority areas BJP had won. She also said, "People from the Muslim community are saying they did not vote for the BJP. Where have all these votes gone?"
Warning against the use of EVMs she said, "If EVMs continue to be used during elections in 2019, then there will be nothing left of this democracy."
She said that she has already written to the Election Commission seeking a probe into the 'malfunction' of EVMs.
1:35 pm: Win Of Modiji's Leadership, Says Smriti Irani
Looks like all credit is going to be given to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, for BJP's landslide win in Uttar Pradesh with even Smriti Irani saying it was the victory of Modi's leadership.
1:30 pm: People Have Again Reposed Faith In Narendra Modi, Says Nitin Gadkari
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari was all praises for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying people had trusted his ability as a leader:
1:33 pm: Respect Mandate Of People, But Fight Will Continue, Says Arvind Kejriwal On Goa, Punjab Route
1:27 pm: BJP Workers Are Really Happy, Here's Proof
1:21 pm: Will Submit Resignation Tomorrow, Says Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal Conceding Defeat
1:10 pm: Congress Sees Tough Competition From BJP In Manipur, Both Leading In 12 Seats
The Congress and the BJP are both leading in 12 seats in Manipur. However the Congress has won 9 seats and BJP has won 6 seats.
1:04 pm: Akhilesh To Address Media At 5 PM
12:57 pm: Congress Must Re-Think Leadership If It Wants To Stay Relevant, Says BJP's Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi
Each time there is an election that the Congress loses, there are questions raised on Rahul Gandhi's leadership. After comments by Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told HuffPost India, "Congress must rethink it's leadership if it wants to stay relevant."
12:16 pm: See How BJP UP State President Celebrated His Win
Indian elections are full of colour, but right ahead of Holi, this meant the festival arrived a day early for the party. The happiness was evident on the face of president of BJP's UP unit Keshav Prasad Maurya as he was showered in colours. See for yourself:
This is a far cry from what had happened in 2015 when the BJP had ordered 100 kg of laddoos, but the day had ended in loss.
12:30 pm: Punjab Made The Right Choice, Says Captain Amarinder Singh
Captain Amarinder Singh was a happy man on Saturday as he praised Punjab for making the right choice.
"The Punjabi voter is enlightened," he said and added, "Punjab has made the right choice."
Dismissing AAP's stint in the state, he said, "Kejriwal is a summer storm and he is gone."
12:10 pm: Patni Hi Toh Jhande Mein Danda Hai, Says Sidhu
While speaking about his victory, Sidhu was asked about his wife, and he chose to say, "Patni toh jhande mein danda hai."
Nobody knows what this means, but here's to hoping that he was saying good things about his wife. Meanwhile, wait for the memes.
12:09 pm: This Is The Revival Of The Congress, Says Navjot Singh Sidhu
12:03 pm: Rajnath Singh Congratulates BJP Workers
11:47 am: Time For Introspection Over, Time For Action, Says Congress Leader Digvijaya Singh
Speaking of the Congress defeat in Uttar Pradesh, leader Digvijaya Singh told NDTV, "I was not expecting this result in UP, but is the mandate of the people. Time has come for the national parties to campaign in state more aggressively."
"Time for introspection is over, it is time for action in those states where we don't have strong leaders," he said.
11:34 am: In 2014 People Voted With Hope, Now People Are Voting With Confidence, Says Javadekar
Speaking on BJP's big win on NDTV, party Minister Prakash Javadekar said, "In 2014, they voted with hope, now they are voting with confidence."
"We saw large number of women participation. People appreciated BJP's fight against black money," he said.
11:30 am: BJP Isn't Unbeatable But Strategy Needs To Shift, Says Omar Abdullah
Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, speaking about BJP's landslide win in UP and Uttarakhand, said that political parties needed to shift their strategy from criticism to positive alternate if they wanted to beat the BJP.
"Punjab, Goa and Manipur would certainly suggest that the BJP isn't unbeatable but strategy needs to shift from criticism to positive alternate," Omar, who is also Leader of Opposition in the state assembly, tweeted.
Omar added that at present there was no leader with a pan-India acceptability who could take on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2019.
"At this rate, we might as well forget 2019 and start planning (and) hoping for 2024," he added.
11:24 am: Vote bank Politics Has Won, Says Congress's Rajiv Shukla
Even as the Congress is headed for a huge loss in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, Congress leader Rajiv Shukla said that this was a victory of vote bank politics.
11:17 am: Congress Ka Haath Kala Ho Gaya Hai, Says BJP's Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore
11:12 am: Congress Outruns BJP In Goa, Punjab And Manipur
Even as BJP celebrates its victory in UP and Uttarakhand, the latest numbers bring good news for Congress in Goa, Manipur and Punjab.
In Goa, Congress is leading in 11 seats while BJP is leading in 7 seats. In Punjab, Congress is leading in 65 seats, AAP in 25, SAD 19 and BJP is only leading in 4 seats.
In Manipur, Congress has one 1 seat, leading in 22 and the BJP is leading in 14 seats.
10:55 am: UP Verdict Quest For Good Governance, Says Ravi Shankar Prasad
Meanwhile, Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad tells HuffPost India, "This is not a conventional victory, the Modi brand has worked backed by extraordinary strategy of Amit Shah."
"The message of social inclusion has paid dividends. UP verdict a quest for good governance. Divine right of governance no longer belongs to so called secular forces," Prasad said.
10:48 am: No Polarisation, Modi Unifying Figure, Says BJP's Meenakshi Lekhi
BJP Spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi was all smiles as she spoke to Pranoy Roy on NDTV. She said, "We have done even better than we expected."
However when asked about who the CM candidate will be, she said, "I am sure people who have done so well in the polls will chose a fantastic chief minister."
From Bihar, she said, "It is the mind of the people that has changed, we reworked our strategy also. Selection of candidates based on local factors."
Was it a polarised election? Lekhi said, "I don't think there was a polarisation factor, Modi is a unifying figure."
10:44 am: It's Holi Hai Already For BJP Workers In Kanpur
10:33 am: Ab Ki Baar 300 Ke Par, Says Shahnawaz Hussain
As BJP is heading towards a landslide win, Shahnawaz Hussain tells HuffPost India, "Ab ki baar 300 ke par."
10:30 am: BJP Gets First Win In Punjab
BJP's Parminder Singh Dhindsa has won from the Lehra constituency in Punjab, getting the first seat for BJP in Punjab.
10:27 am: Okram Ibobi Singh Beats Irom Sharmila In Manipur's Thoubal
Incumbent Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh has won from the Thoubal seat in Manipur, beating Iron Lady Irom Sharmila who made her political debut this year.
If INC wins, it will be Singh's fourth stint as CM.
10:20 am This Is A Vote For Development, Says Yogi Adityanath
BJP's Yogi Adityanath, who is usually know for his outrageous comments, kept it short and simple today. He said:
10:16 am: Rahul Will Of Course Take The Bullet In His Chest, Says Abhishek Manu Singhvi
Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who had said that it would be a Congress win all along on Friday night, on Saturday said party Vice President Rahul Gandhi should not be singled out for the party's poor showing in Uttar Pradesh.
"If these (counting) trends persist, why single out Rahul Gandhi? He will of course take the bullet in his chest," Singhvi told NDTV.
These comments come even as Congress is heading towards a historic loss in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
10:07 am: Leading In 65 Seats, It's Celebration Time For Congress In Punjab
While it looks like it is heading for a huge defeat in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, it is leading in 65 seats in Punjab. Hence party workers are already in celebration mode.
9:54 am: Saffron Is the Colour This Election
If the trends are to be believed so far, the Congress has been decimated in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand and it will be a landslide win for the BJP in both the state.
9:42 am: BJP, Congress Leads Neck And Neck In Goa
Meanwhile in Goa, the Congress is leading in 8 seats and BJP in 7 seats. While people had hoped for AAP to perform well, today's numbers show a different reality.
9:34 am: Celebrations Already In Lucknow
With the BJP leading in 191 seats in Uttar Pradesh, celebrations have already begun in Lucknow. This comes as great news for the party that has been eyeing the state for a long time now.
BJP stuck to their traditional mode of campaigning based on caste and religious lines. Some leaders even raised the Ram Temple and Ayodhya issue.
While the Congress had claimed that demonetisation would mean doom for the BJP, it looks like Modi has managed to keep his public perception intact despite hardships caused by the move.
9:30 am: A Saffron UP
9:26 am: Leads So Far In Goa
9:25 am: Leads So Far In Manipur
9:24 am: Leads So Far In Punjab
9:21 am: Leads So Far In Uttar Pradesh
9:15 am: BJP Has Huge Leads In Uttarakhand
Like Uttar Pradesh, BJP has huge leads in Uttar Pradesh. At the moment, BJP is leading in 32 seats, Congress in 5 seats and BSP in 1 seat.
9:08 am: BJP's Sangeet Som Leading In Sardhana
Sangeet Som, who is known for his involvement in the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riot cases, is leading from Uttar Pradesh's Sardhana. He is contesting against SP's Atul Pradhan.
He is already the sitting MLA from the constituency.
9:01 am: SP's Aparna Yadav Trailing In Lucknow Cantt
Samajwadi Party's Aparna Yadav is trailing from the Lucknow Cantt seat in Uttar Pradesh. This is her first election, but she was being looked at a candidate to watch out for since she is political royalty, coming from the Yadav family.
8:55 am: An Hour After Counting, It Seems Like Good News For BJP In UP
It has been almost an hour since counting began, and it looks like good news for the BJP as it is leading in 62 seats with SP and BSP leading in 18 each.
8:50 am: Congress's Navjot Singh Sidhu Leading In Amritsar East
8:45 am: First Lead In Goa Comes For Congress In St. Andre
8:45 am: BJP's Garima Singh Is Leading In Congress Bastion Amethi
Amethi, which is Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi's constituency, and has been traditionally a Congress Bastion sees a BJP lead for Garima Singh.
8:40 am: Humari Badi Jeet Hogi, Says SP's Shivpal Yadav Leading in Jaswantnagar
8:34 am: Iron Lady Irom Sharmila Trailing In Thoubal, Manipur
Irom Sharmila is trailing against current Chief Minister of the state Ikram Ibobi Singh. If the Congress manages to win this year, it will be Singh's fourth stint as chief minister in a row.
8:27 am: First Lead In Punjab For AAP's Bhagwant Mann, Amarinder Singh Leading In Lambi
Remember Bhagwant Mann, the AAP candidate who was drunk for his own rally? He has the first lead from Punjab, opening the books for AAP.
Congress's chief ministerial face Captain Amarinder Singh is leading from Lambi
8:17 am: BJP Is Leading In Shamli, Saharanpur In Uttar Pradesh
The BJP already has two leads in UP, from Shamli and Saharanpur. Tejendra Nirwal from Shamli and Manoj Chaudhary from Saharapur are leading in the earliest trends.
Meanwhile, BSP's Mukhta Ansari is leading in Mau.
8:16 am: Irom Sharmila Calls Out Parties For Using Money, Muscle Power
Even as counting began for all five states, Manipur's Iron Lady Irom Sharmila called out parties for using money and muscle power.
"I do not feel much affected by the result. It depends upon the people's mindset. I don't feel much affected by it, because people can still change their minds and everybody knows muscle and money power is being openly used by parties," she told ANI.
8:15 am: Huge Security Cover Across States Where Results Will Be Announced
8:00 am: Counting Begins In Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Manipur, Goa and Uttarakhand
7:35 am: Counting Of Votes To Begin At 8 am
7:25 am: Exit Polls Will Get It Wrong, Congress Claimed Last Evening
Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said last night that the exit polls will get it wrong like they did during the Bihar Assembly Elections last year.
He said that the BJP wouldn't see success because of the language used by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. "These are against the idea and ethos of India. PM is acting in inverse proportion to the stature of the Office he holds," he said.
7:13 am: BJP Confident Of Majority in Uttar Pradesh, SP Says 'Our Alliance Will Win'
Counting hasn't yet begun, but in Uttar Pradesh, the major parties are already claiming victory. While Rajendra Chaudhary of the Samajwadi Party said that their alliance with Congress will win, state BJP Keshav Prasad Maurya said that Mayawati's BSP and SP will be wiped out.
7:15 am: Laddoos Galore In Varanasi
7:10 am: Havan for Samajwadi Party
7:00 am: Counting Day For Assembly Polls In Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, Manipur and Uttarakhand
It isn't all good news for the BJP in Uttar Pradesh, if the HuffPost-C Voter exit polls are to be believed. While the BJP has been claiming that it is bound to UP, the exit poll suggested that it may be a hung assembly in India's largest state. But the BJP will still be a the single largest party. However Today's Chanakya has predicted a BJP win.
In Punjab, the AAP is projected to come to power with 63 seats in the 117-seat house, coming close in Manipur and Goa.
In both Goa and Manipur it looks like the BJP is likely to come to power.
Most exit polls, except the HuffPost-C Voter exit poll, has predicted a BJP win in Uttarakhand.
The HuffPost-C Voter exit poll predicts that in Manipur too the BJP will emerge as the single largest party, while Axis My India predicts that Congress winners could outnumber the BJP.
In other words, the exit polls spell doom for the Congress.