Pinarayi creates history, Mamata humbles BJP

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BJP retains Assam and wind Puducherry, MK Stalin set to be Tamil Nadu CM, reports Asian Lite News

The election juggernaut in four states and the Union Territory of Puducherry sprang a few surprises on Sunday. But the clear winners who emerged out of the two-month-long exercise were the chief ministers of Kerala and West Bengal.

If Pinarayi Vijayan scripted history becoming the first CM to win two consecutive terms in the state, Mamata Banerjee proved a giant killer as she upset the BJP’s protracted election campaign which saw Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP chief Nadda and the whole Un ion Cabinet holing 100s of rallies across the state. The BJP were left red-faced after the call, “Ab ki baar 200 par” (This time a win with over 200 seats).

The party’s calculation in Tamil Nadu also came a cropper after the DMK-led front is set the form the government. The win is the beginning of a new political innings for DMK leader MK Stalin, who has been actively campaigning against the ruling AIADMK. However, the victory may not be decisive as the AIADMK-led front has managed to give MK Stalin a tough fight.

However, the saffron party seems set to retain its government in Assam and form an NDA government in Puducherry.

Vijayan the winner

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, off late addressed by many in the social media as ‘Captain’, seems set to justify the title by creating history by leading the Left Democratic Front to its second consecutive victory, a feat which bucks an over 40-year-old trend in the state’s electoral politics.

As the counting of votes reaches the last few rounds across the state’s 140 Assembly constituencies, the LDF is leading in 98 seats, with the Congress-led United Democratic Front leading in 41 and the BJP in one seat — Palakkad where Metroman E. Sreedharan is leading by 1,700 votes, as against over 5,000 at one point.

The Left’s stunning performance can be attributed to no one other than Chief Minister Vijayan who led from the front.

In the 2016 polls, it was party stalwart V.S. Achuthanandan who led from the front and after the Left won, Vijayan stepped in to take the Chief Minister’s post, while Achuthanandan was given the post of ‘Kerala Castro’.

The Congress-led UDF, which had swept the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, will have to do a lot of introspection as they were banking on a backlash against the Left from the Hindu women voters, especially those who are devotees of Lord Ayyappa, over Vijayan altering the traditions of the Sabarimala temple in 2018. After getting knocked out at the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Vijayan decided to wait for the apex court directive and then decide.

Mamata edges past BJP in Bengal

The early trends in the West Bengal assembly polls show that though chief minister Mamata Banerjee is trailing behind BJP’s Suvendu Adhikari in Nandigram, ruling Trinamool Congress is having an edge over the BJP.

The initial trends of 292 seats show that the Trinamool is leading in 189 seats while the BJP is leading in 98 seats and the United Front (Sanjukta Morcha) is leading in rest of the 5 seats.

The 2021 assembly election has been a major test for the ruling Trinamool Congress as the saffron brigade had put in all its might to make its footmark for the first time in West Bengal. But if early trends are taken as an indication, then Mamata Banerjee seems to have an edge over her rival.

The trends available from different sources indicate that Trinamool Congress is leading in 178 of the 292 seats while the BJP is leading in 108 seats. United Front – an alliance of Left Front, Congress and the newly formed Indian Secular Front, is leading in rest of the 6 seats.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee

There was no election in two assembly constituencies as the respective candidates died before the polls. Presently the counting of postal ballots is going on where mainly the government officials on election duty and voters above 80 years of age exercised their franchise.

There is one aspect which can make chief minister Mamata Banerjee happy. As counting of the postal ballots show Trinamool having an edge over the BJP, it is also indicative that the government employees who turned their face away from the ruling party are showing signs of coming back into the Trinamool fold. In the last Lok Sabha elections, on the basis of postal ballots, the BJP was ahead in 41 of the 42 Lok Sabha seats.

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