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Which side are you on' Time to pick

The battle for Delhi kicks off today with elections in 140 seats. Eighty-eight of these are now held by BJP and allies and 44 by the Congress-led group. The Telegraph brings you a state-by-state report.

Andhra Pradesh

Twenty-one of 42 seats vote on Day One. Most of these are in the Telengana region, where the Congress-TRS alliance is expected to lift its tally from 4 to 11.

The Telugu Desam-BJP combine could see its numbers fall from 17 to 10. In the Assembly poll, the Congress-TRS has the edge. The contest to watch will be Karimnagar, where TRS boss K. Chandrasekhara Rao takes on the BJP’s Ch.Vidyasagar Rao.

Karnataka

Fifteen of 28 seats give their verdict. The BJP looks sound in eight and the Congress in six. In the last House, the Congress held nine and the NDA five. S.M. Krishna’s team has the edge in the Assembly poll.

The battle to watch is Bangalore North, where C.K. Jaffer Sharief of the Congress is fighting C.M. Ibrahim of the Janata Dal (Secular).

Bihar

A fourth of Bihar will vote, with 11 of the 40 seats — most in the Naxalite-affected districts — up for grabs. The contest to watch is Barh where Nitish Kumar faces a stiff challenge from the RJD’s Vijay Krishna.

The NDA should pick up four and the RJD-Congress two. The rest five are too close to call. In the last House, the NDA had eight and the RJD-Congress three of the 11.

Jharkhand

As in Bihar, the terror belt goes to polls here. Six of the 14 seats will vote under the shadow of the Naxalite boycott call.

The fate of two Union ministers — Yashwant Sinha and Nagmani — will be decided but the contest to watch is Koderma, where former chief minister Babulal Marandi is taking on Congress’ sitting MP Tilakdhari Singh. The BJP, which held five seats, is ahead in four. The remaining two are too close to call.

Chhattisgarh

The Congress, still licking the wounds of December’s crushing Assembly defeat, had three seats in the last Lok Sabha and should win at least two of the 11.

The fight really is for three seats — Janjgir, where the Prime Minister’s niece is the BJP candidate, Mahasamund and Sarangarh. Everywhere else, the BJP looks sound. All eyes are on Mahasamund, where Ajit Jogi takes on the BJP’s V.C. Shukla.

Maharashtra

Vidarbha and Marathwada vote. The Congress-led alliance is expecting to win 15 of the 24 seats. In 1999, the NDA had won 13. The contest to watch is Solapur, where Ujwala Shinde is trying to win back the seat the Congress lost after her husband Sushil Kumar Shinde vacated it to become chief minister.

Gujarat

The BJP claims it will win all 26 seats, but the Congress should retain the five it held in the last House and give a tough fight in another five.

Jammu and Kashmir

The shadow of the gun reappears. The contest for both seats — Baramulla and Jammu — is close.

Northeast

Ten seats in Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya and Mizoram go to the polls. The Congress should maintain its tally of six and the BJP may win a maximum of two. Guwahati is the contest to watch. BJP’s Bhupen Hazarika is locked in a close fight with AGP’s Bhrigu Phukan.

Orissa

The Naveen Patnaik-led BJD-BJP alliance is way ahead in the 11 seats that vote first. The NDA is expected to bag nine, the same as last time. It also has the edge in the Assembly poll.

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