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The Financial Express

Mamata's Trinamool set to record landslide victory in India's West Bengal

| Updated: May 02, 2021 19:40:18


Supporters of the Chief Minister of the eastern state of West Bengal and Trinamool Congress (TMC) Chief, Mamata Banerjee, attend an election campaign rally ahead of the fourth phase of the state election, amidst the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), in Kolkata, India, April 7, 2021 — Reuters/Rupak De Chowdhuri/File Photo Supporters of the Chief Minister of the eastern state of West Bengal and Trinamool Congress (TMC) Chief, Mamata Banerjee, attend an election campaign rally ahead of the fourth phase of the state election, amidst the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), in Kolkata, India, April 7, 2021 — Reuters/Rupak De Chowdhuri/File Photo

Mamata Banerjee looks set to win a third term in India’s West Bengal, the DMK is heading for victory in Tamil Nadu, the BJP is leading in Assam and the LDF in Kerala in the counting of votes for state polls, NDV reports, citing the health warning that these are very early leads.

The latest forecast from NDTV Election Desk showed that the Trinamool is poised to get 205+ seats in West Bengal, 140+ for the DMK in Tamil Nadu, 90+ for the BJP in Assam and in Kerala, 90 for the Left, according to the report.

Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress has crossed the half-way mark in early leads in West Bengal and is leading in 204 seats, though the BJP seems to have made gains since the 2019 national elections, the Indian news network noted.

The Chief Minister's Trinamool and the BJP ran a bitter, no holds barred campaign that defied Covid safety rules as well as the poll code. But Mamata Banerjee is trailing the BJP's Suvendhu Adhikari - her former close aide -- in Nandigram, which is the most-watched fight in Bengal, NDTV added.

In Assam, the BJP is leading in 81 of the 126 seats, far ahead of its nearest rival Congress, which campaigned hard to reclaim its one-time bastion, NDTV reported.

In Tamil Nadu, the DMK crossed the half-way mark in early leads, ahead of the ruling AIADMK, which has an alliance with the BJP. MK Stalin's DMK and its allies are leading in 132 seats and the AIDMK, in 101, the report said.

In Kerala, the incumbent LDF is leading in 88 of the 140 seats and seems to be on its way to buck a 40-year tradition is the trend continues. The Congress-led UDF is leading in 47 seats, according to the report.

In Puducherry, the N Rangaswamy's AINRC-led alliance - of which the BJP is a part - is leading in 11 of the 30 assembly seats while the Congress is ahead in 6, NDTV reported.

Voting for these elections took place in March and April, just as India started reporting thousands of fresh coronavirus infections every day. On March 14, two weeks before the first phase, there were fewer than 25,000 new cases a day. On March 27 there were around 62,000 and, by April 29, there were well over 3.5 lakh per day. On Saturday, new cases reached a record daily high of 401,993, the biggest across the world, according to the report.

Alongside the Covid spike, leaders of all political parties, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, led political rallies at which large crowds discarded safety rules on masks and social distancing, NDTV reported.

Last week the Madras High Court said the Election Commission "should probably be booked for murder" for not stopping rallies. Late Saturday the Commission hit back and filed a complaint in the Supreme Court, according to the report.

According to NDTV, the Election Commission has banned all victory processions. The poll body has also said candidates will not be allowed inside counting centres without either a negative Covid report (no older than 48 hours) or confirmation that they'd received both their vaccine shots.

 

 

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