New Delhi: Who will rule West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Kerala and Puducherry for the next five years? The answer to the most discussed question will start emerging from 8 am today when the counting of votes for the 822 Assembly seats begin amid strict Covid protocols.
The most closely watched among them will be West Bengal where Mamata Banerjee is trying to retain power for third time amid a tough contest from the BJP. Exit polls have forecast an edge for the Trinamool Congress chief in what appears to be a tight race in the state.
In Kerala, the ruling Left-led LDF front is likely to end a four-decade trend by retaining power in the state – its only remaining fort in the country – exit polls forecast show.
In neighbouring Tamil Nadu, the opposition DMK and its allies may score over the ruling AIADMK in its first state election since the death of its charismatic leader J Jayalalithaa in 2016.
For the Congress, the assembly election results in Puducherry and Assam – where it has campaigned aggressively – is crucial for its presence in the state.
The poll results in the four states and the Union Territory are also likely to reflect how the handling of the COVID pandemic has played on the voters’ mind.
Here are the Live Election Results 2021 Updates on Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Puducherry:
In Kerala the incumbent LDF is hoping to buck tradition and win re-election. The Congress-led UDF is the other main alliance. Both LDF, UDF have expressed confidence of victory in Kerala polls ahead of counting.
In Assam the BJP is looking for a second straight term and has allied with the Asom Gana Parishad and the UPPL (United People’s Party Liberal) to secure the state. The Congress campaigned hard to reclaim its one-time bastion. Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma are two of the biggest names on the ballot.
Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress has an edge in Bengal, though with a majority greatly shrunk, according to exit polls.
The Trinamool Congress, which surged to power in 2011 toppling the 34-year Left citadel, had improved its tally by 27 seats in 2016, winning 2011.
Bengal Elections 2021: Amid Polls, Virus Grew Faster In India
Bengal voted in a record eight phased-polls to choose the next government. Amid the elections, the state saw coronavirus spreading much faster than before. While India’s average growth rate is believed to be 7 per cent, West Bengal’s average growth rate is 13 per cent.
Tamil Nadu Election 2021: DMK Eyes Return After A Decade
The DMK is hoping to return to power after nearly a decade. DMK chief MK Stalin is hoping to contesting from Kolathur while his son Udhayanidhi is contesting from Chepauk.
Tamil Nadu is witnessing the first state election after the deaths of two political icons and former chief ministers – M. Karunanidhi and J Jayalalithaa.
In Tamil Nadu, actor-politician Kamal Haasan and his party Makkal Needhi Maiam hope to gain grounds after a rather forgettable debut in 2019 national elections.
The counting in five states comes as India sees an alarming surge in Covid cases. On Saturday, the country saw over 4 lakh cases in a day for the first time, hitting a new global record.