Delhi: West Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress on Thursday crushed the Opposition and Tamil Nadu’s AIADMK proved exit polls wrong by retaining power in high-stakes Assembly elections.
On the other hand, the Bharatiya Janata Party stormed to power in Assam while the Left made a comeback in Kerala amid a washout in West Bengal.
The Congress was the worst hit in the five-state election, losing power both in Assam, which it had ruled for 15 long years, and Kerala, where it had been confident of winning a second term.
The only consolation was in Puducherry, where the Congress-DMK alliance was poised to form the government.
The BJP also made history in Kerala where its veteran O Rajagopal, 86, was elected from Nemom in Thiruvananthapuram. He will be the first ever BJP member in the Kerala Assembly.
Led by Mamata Banerjee, who won from Bhabanipur constituency by 25,301 votes, TMC bagged 211 of the 294 seats, while Congress-Left combine got 76 seats.
TMC had secured 184 seats in 2011 Assembly election when it had fought in alliance with Congress.
Congress, however, did better than its Left partners securing 44 seats. Left partners CPI-M bagged 26 seats, RSP-3, CPI-1 and Forward Bloc-2.
The tally of BJP which had one seat in the outgoing House, has gone upto three with state party president Dilip Ghosh winning from Kharagpur. He defeated Congress veteran Gyan Singh Sohanpal who had won the seat nine times in a row.
The other two seats won by BJP are Madarihat and Baishnabnagar.
Rahul Sinha, BJP national secretary, and the party’s lone member in the outgoing Assembly Shamik Bhattacharya lost. Rupa Ganguly, actor turned BJP state Mahila Morcha president, was also defeated.
In Darjeeling hills, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha won three seats.
The BJP created history in Assam by getting two-thirds majority in the 126-member House along with its allies.
BJP had contested in 89 seats, AGP 20 and BPF 13 seats, while Congress fought in 122 seats, opposition AIUDF in 74 constituencies.
The Congress led by Tarun Gogoi managed only 26 seats.
On the other hand, AIUDF won 13 seats, followed by Independents with only one of them winning.
A beaming Sarbananda Sonowal, who will be Assam’s chief minister, said that sealing the winding India-Bangladesh border to end infiltration would be his government’s major challenge.
Three-time chief minister Tarun Gogoi accepted defeat and said the Congress would play the role of a constructive Opposition.
The Left Democratic Front (LDF) returned to power in Kerala, winning 91 of the 140 seats in an election that saw the Congress routed and the BJP entering the Assembly after decades of waiting.
As widely anticipated, LDF led by the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) unseated the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) in the May 16 battle.
On its own, the CPI-M bagged 58 seats. In contrast, the entire UDF tally was 47.
LDF made massive inroads in Thrissur, Kannur, Kozhikode, Kollam, Alapuzha and Thiruvananthapuram districts by capturing maximum seats. In Thrissur, out of 13 constituencies, all except one went to LDF. In Kollam all 10 seats were won by LDF.
93-year-old VS Achutanandan, the face of the LDF campaign and CPI(M) polit bureau member Pinarayi Vijayan, Thomas Issac, E P Jayarajan and actor Mukesh are among prominent winners in the LDF.
BJP’s leader and former Union minister O Rajagopal won from Nemom by defeating CPI(M) MLA V Sivankutty by a margin of 8,671 votes.
Reacting to the massive defeat, Oommen Chandy said the results were a “setback” and UDF would discuss in detail the results of the unexpected rout, as per PTI.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa led her AIADMK to a second five-year term, convincingly defeating a divided Opposition and proving wrong exit polls that predicted her ouster.
“I am overwhelmed by the resounding victory given by the people. My party and I are indebted to the people of Tamil Nadu,” an emotive Jayalalithaa said as the AIADMK cruised to victory in 134 of the 232 assembly seats.
“After 1984, no ruling party in the state has been able to win an election and form the government for a successive term,” she added, as per IANS.
The actor-turned-politician said there was no word in dictionary to describe her feelings.
The DMK-Congress combine which had hoped to unseat Jayalalithaa had to settle for 97 seats, with the Congress tally getting reduced to just eight. A solitary seat went to DMK ally, the Indian Union Muslim League.
More than the DMK-Congress defeat was the washout of a six-party alliance led by actor-turned-politician and chief ministerial hopeful A. Vijaykanth who himself finished third in his constituency Ulundurpettai.
The PMK, which for the first time fought in all the constituencies, could not win a single seat. The Bharatiya Janata Party and its allies which too contested all the seats suffered a similar fate.
Polling was postponed in two constituencies by the Election Commission.
However, AIADMK faced some embarrassment when four of its senior ministers lost.
In a consolation win of sorts for Congress, the party in alliance with DMK won in Puducherry, securing a simple majority of 17 in the 30-member Assembly.
Congress avenged its defeat in the 2011 elections at the hands of AINRC founder N Rangasamy, who broke away from the national party to form his outfit and rode it to power, as the ruling party fell by the wayside bagging just eight seats.
Congress which contested 21 seats won in 15 seats. DMK emerged successful in two segments, giving the combine a clear majority as it bucked initial trends of a close fight with the AINRC when counting of the votes polled in the May 16 assembly elections was taken up.
AIADMK, which contested the elections on its own, won four seats.
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