Raipur: The Congress candidates on Tuesday took a significant lead in BJP-ruled Chhattisgarh in Assembly elections. The party is leading on 16 seats, and the ruling BJP in four constituencies in Chhattisgarh as per early trends, poll officials said Tuesday.

The Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (J) of former chief minister Ajit Jogi was ahead in two seats in Bilaspur division, they said. Counting for all the 90 seats started at 8 am at the district headquarters.

And in a reversal of trends, the Congress overtook the BJP in both Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. Both states the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has ruled for 15 years.

The counting of postal ballots was first taken up followed by counting of votes from the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), an election official said.

The Congress was leading in Ramanujganj, Samari, Ambikapur, Katghora, Pali-Tanakhar, Beltara, Saraipali, Basna, Bilaigarh, Baloda bazar, Raipur Rural, Raipur Nagar Uttar, Sanjari balod, Durg rural, Kavardha and Narayanpur seats.

The BJP ahead in Vaishalinagar, Pamgarh, Bilaspur and Rampur seats. Ajit Jogi was leading in Marwahi seat while his wife Renu Jogi was ahead in Kota constituency, he said.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is seeking a fourth straight term in office under the leadership of Chief Minister Raman Singh, while the Congress is aiming to stage a comeback after being in the opposition for 15 years.

The state had recorded 76.60 per cent voter turnout.

The BJP has retained state Assembly Speaker Gaurishankar Agrawal from the Kasdol seat, which he had won against Congress’ Rajkamal Singhaniya in the 2013 elections.