LIVE Results 2018: Fate of 8, 500 candidates in 5 states to be decided today, BJP-Congress keep fingers crossed

New Delhi, News24 Bureau, Dec 11: Today is a big day, not just for the 8,500 candidates, whose fate will be decided today, but more for the BIG two:  Fate of BJP-Congress to be decided today, and after that, it's the fate of these hopefuls. The results in these 5 states is important as it is being seen as a precursor to the Big General Election in 2019. The results will set the tone of the forthcoming elections. The results today will also indicate which way the elections will go next year. So obviously, both Congress and BJP are nervous. Here are the LIVE UPDATES:

-LIVE Results 2018: Rahul Gandhi reaches Sonia Gandhi's residence, 10 Janpath

-Congress's Sachin Pilot in talks with 8 independents in Rajasthan, say sources

-Ashok Gehlot, of Congress on Assembly results: Congress has won the mandate. Numbers can go up and down but the public's mandate is in the favour of Congress. We will get a clear majority, still, we would want independent candidates & parties other than BJP to support us if they want 

-Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Assembly Elections: Nothing is yet clear from the trends. Congratulations to the MLA candidates and the political parties that are winning. But Mahagathbandhan has failed terribly in Telangana 

-Nail-biting competition between Congress and BJP in Madhya Pradesh

-LIVE Results 2018: BJP surges ahead in Madhya Pradesh, Congress shocked

-Senior Congress leader Ashok Gehlot confident of a BIG victory in Rajasthan

-LIVE Results 2018: Congress slipping down from the magical figure in Rajasthan

-PM Narendra Modi says this Winter Session is important and important issues will be discussed. This session is important, many issues of public importance will be taken up. I have faith that all the members of the Parliament will respect this sentiment and move ahead. Our efforts are that discussions are held on all issues.  

-Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Assembly results: These are early trends. We hope to perform well 

-LIVE Results 2018: Close fight in MP, Congress ahead in Rajasthan, Telangana; TRS in Telangana, MNF in Mizoram

-LIVE Results 2018: Neck and neck fight between BJP-Congress still in MP; SP-BSP king-maker?

-LIVE Results 2018: TRS holds a strong lead in Telangana

-LIVE Results 2018: Celebrations start in Congress as it surges ahead in all 5 states

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-LIVE Results 2018: BJP-Congress neck and neck in MP, Chattisgarh

-LIVE Results 2018: Early trends show Congress surging ahead in Telangana, MP, Rajasthan

- Early trends show Congress surging ahead in Rajasthan 

-Early trends justify Exit Polls figures

-Congress workers perform 'hawan' outside Rahul Gandhi's residence in Delhi  

- Counting of votes for Rajasthan, MP, Chhattisgarh, Mizoram and Telangana begins

-Voting in five states begins in all centres

-Chattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh confident of victory, no doubts on that...he says

-Counting of votes will start at 8 am today 

-LIVE Results 2018: "Confident of winning in all states," Ashok Gehlot, Congress to News24

The electoral fate of over 8,500 candidates of five states which went to polls recently is sealed in over 1.74 lakh EVMs which will be opened Tuesday.These electronic voting machines are now stored in over 670 strongrooms across Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Mizoram and Telangana.A total of 1,74,724 EVMs were used at polling stations in the five states.The maximum 65,367 machines were used in Madhya Pradesh.A little over 8,500 candidates were in the fray in the five states with 2,907 in Madhya Pradesh.After voting, the EVMs have been stored in strongrooms.According to the Election Commission, there is one strongroom earmarked for every assembly seat.EVMs which were kept as a reserve or had developed snag are kept in a separate facility.A total of 679 assembly seats in the five states were to go for election, but due to the death of a candidate in Rajasthan, polling was countermanded on one seat.The strongrooms will be opened Tuesday in the presence of candidates or their representatives from where machines will be taken to counting centres.The results will set the tone for the 2019 Lok Sabha election.These five Assembly elections would be crucial for the BJP as it gears up for the Lok Sabha election next year and is in power in three of these states- Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.While the Congress is in power in Mizoram, Telangana Rashtra Samithi ruled Telangana before the Assembly was dissolved.The BJP is trying for a fourth term in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and to retain power in Rajasthan.The three states also played a significant role for the BJP in the 2014 general election, when it had won 62 out of the 65 Lok Sabha seats in these three states.The elections also hold significance for the Congress, which is out to challenge the BJP's rule in the states even while protecting its last bastion in the North-East.Mizoram is the only remaining state in the North-East, which is not under the rule of BJP-led NDA.The eight North-East states together have 25 Lok Sabha seats.With Agencies