As the counting of votes for the Lok Sabha elections is underway on Tuesday, the Opposition INDIA bloc seems to have defied exit poll predictions and picked up in crucial states of Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, and West Bengal.

Uttar Pradesh, where the BJP won big in the past two Lok Sabha elections, is witnessing a neck-and-neck battle between the NDA and INDIA bloc of the Congress and Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party. The SP was leading in 36, BJP in 32 and Congress in 9 seats in Uttar Pradesh, according to the Election Commission of India’s latest data.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is leading in Varanasi, and so is Rahul Gandhi in Rae Bareli. Union minister and BJP leader Smriti Irani is trailing Congress’s Kishori Lal Sharma, a Gandhi family loyalist.

Exit polls had given the NDA an edge in Uttar Pradesh. In the Lok Sabha Election 2019, the BJP bagged 62 out of 80 seats, and its ally Apna Dal won two seats. The Samajwadi Party won just five seats and Congress managed to get just one seat.

In West Bengal, after an initial setback, Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress is ahead in 32 seats with the BJP trailing behind with nine seats. The Congress party is ahead in one seat, according to the poll body figures.

In Maharashtra, it’s again a close battle, and according to the Election Commission data, the Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party, and Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackrey) are leading in 11 seats each. The Nationalist Congress Party (Sharadchandra Pawar) is ahead in 8 and the Eknath Shinde Shiv Sena in five seats.

In Haryana, both BJP and Congress seem to be ahead in five seats each. The Congress is leading in seven seats in Punjab, with the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) ahead in three seats, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in one and Independents in two seats.

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