State Assembly Polls: Stage Set for Counting of Votes Tomorrow
The counting will take place on 19 May for the states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, West Bengal, Assam and Puducherry.
Counting of votes in the high-stakes Assembly elections in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Kerala and Puducherry will start on Thursday morning and the first trends are expected to be available after an hour. By 12 noon, a clear picture could emerge on the winners.
Election Commission officials said counting of votes, which will commence at 8 am, will be over by 3 pm. Exit polls predict a comeback for Mamata in West Bengal and the Left in Kerala. BJP may get a mandate in Assam while in Tamil Nadu it’s too close a call.
Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi (Congress) has been in power for 15 years. In the last Assembly elections, the Congress won 78 seats, the AIUDF 18 and the BJP five seats. However, this year, exit polls predict a win for the BJP-led alliance in the state.
Burdened with the weight of corruption charges, the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) coalition in Kerala appears to be trailing behind. BJP might open its account in the state, after all.
The polls will decide the fate of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and his arch-rival VS Achuthanandan in the state.
Three surveys predict a defeat for Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s AIADMK. However, a fourth said she would retain power comfortably, winning 139 of the 234 seats. It should be noted that the Election Commission deferred polling in Aravukrichi and Thanjavur constituencies to 23 May over reports of bribes.
According to ABP-Nielsen, the TMC would win 163 of the 294 assembly seats. The CPI(M)-led Left Front and the Congress combined would get 126 seats with a solitary seat going to the BJP. Others would get four seats.
TMC’s Mamata Banerjee has been the Chief Minister since May 2011. However, the Vivekananda flyover collapse and the Narada and Saradha scams have marred Banerjee’s campaign.
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