Assembly election counting today (2 May) began in crucial states of West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Kerala and Union Territory of Puducherry.
Of all the electoral battles, the battle for Bengal has emerged as the limelight hogger with BJP attempting to dethrone Mamata Banerjee led TMC. The BJP which was a non-entity in West Bengal until a few years ago, had won 18 seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. In contrast it had won just three seats in the last assembly polls in the state.
Exit Polls too have been open ended with respect to Bengal, with most shying away from an outright prediction - thereby building up to a much anticipated counting day.
In Tamil Nadu the E Palaniswami led AIADMK seeks to retain power for the third time in a row but faces a stiff challenge from M K Stalin led DMK. Though Palaniswami has been hailed for his Covid-19 management and governance, exit polls have suggested a DMK victory. AIADMK leaders have in turn talked about 2016 when exit polls had got the state wrong.
Kerala may break its 40 year old tradition of cyclical power shifts as exit polls suggest that the Pinarayi Vijayan led LDF may retain power convincingly. This will result in a blow to the Congress which was hoping to clinch power in the state.
The Sarbananda Sonowal - Himanta Biswa Sarma combine in Assam is seeking to retain power in Assam, with Himanta emerging as the tallest leader in the state, thereby positioning himself as a potential Chief Ministerial candidate. The BJP faces a tough fight from the combined forces of the Congress and Badruddin Ajmal led AIUDF.
The NDA is expected to clinch power in Puducherry after the incumbent Congress has been weakened by high profile exits in the run up to the elections.
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