Counting on change after fair vote in four states

Counting on change after fair vote in four states

The results of by-elect­ions to three Karnataka Assembly constituencies – Channapatna, Bangarpet and Jagalur – will also be announced.

Counting of votes will start by 8 am in all states and leads will start coming in within minutes. Most keenly awaited will be the results in West Bengal and Tamil Nadu, followed by Kerala and Assam. It is testing time for the parties in Pu­ducherry, the lone UT which went to the polls.

Almost all exit polls predicted a sweep for the Trinamool Congress-Congress combine in West Bengal, crossing 200 seats out of a House strength of 294. This will mean an end to the Left Front regime, which came to power way back in 1977.  If the exit poll results turn into reality, Trinamool leader Mamata Banerjee is certain to become chief minister and the first non-Left leader to occupy the post after 1977.

A day before counting for the West Bengal Assembly polls begins, Left Front chairman Biman Bose exuded confidence that his alliance would emerge victorious with a comfortable margin, dismissing predictions of a landslide win for the TMC-Congress combine by most post-poll surveys.

On what could be the possible tally of the Front, Bose claimed it could be around the 2001 figure when the Left Front won 199 seats.

In Tamil Nadu, the electoral shrewdness of DMK patriarch and Chief Minister M Kar­unanidhi, bogged down by the 2G corruption charge, not only against his protégé and former telecom minister A Raja but even his daughter Kanomozhi, is on test.  Most exit polls suggest his rival, AIADMK leader J Jayalalitha, coming back to power after a gap of ten years.

The DMK leadership, emboldened by an exit poll by a channel and a Tamil weekly, is certain the party will head the state’s first-ever coalition government, while the AI­ADMK maintains it will gain an absolute majority. Both Karunanidhi and Jayalalitha are understood to have finalised their teams in case they are voted to  power.

There was no clarity in exit polls on Kerala where the CPM-led Left Democratic Front is said to have given a stiff fight to the Congress-led United Democratic Front. Assam may present either a victory for the Congress – for the third successive time – or a hung Assembly in which the Congress may emerge as the largest party.

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