New Delhi : The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) made major gains Friday and was set to become the single largest outfit in the Uttar Pradesh assembly, with a badly bruised Congress limping in the distant fourth spot.
Of the 190 seats where voting trends were available, the BSP was ahead in 78 seats. The ruling Samajwadi Party was a distant second with 45 seats followed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with 37 seats.
Smaller parties and independent candidates were leading all others in several seats but the Congress, which had expected to dramatically improve upon its 2002 showing, was in the lead in just half a dozen seats.
CNN predicted that the BSP was expected to win up to 170 seats in the 403-member Uttar Pradesh legislature and becoming the single largest party.
Balloting in the state took place in the country's most populous and politically critical state from April 7 until May 8. Some 50 million voted in the polls.