Cong ousted in Assam, Kerala; Jaya, Mamata retain power

It is four hours since counting began in in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Kerala and Puducherry. Trinamool Congress’ Mamata Banerjee and AIADMK’s Jayalalithaa are set to retain their governments, while the Left is all set to storm to power in Kerala.

It’s historic for Jaya as the last time a party won a consecutive term was way back in the 1980s when MGR was in power.

In Assam, it is the BJP that’s making massive gains. While Kerala assembly gets first BJP legislator.

The LDF is likely to wrest power in Kerala. The BJP-led NDA has consolidated its position. The party has won in Nemom and even has chances of coming second in some constituencies.  And senior BJP leader O Rajagopal becomes the first MLA from the party.

The ruling UDF is however leading in Malappuram and Ernakulam. It is clean sweep for the Left coalition in Kollam, Thrissur, Palakkad and Kannur.

With the Left Democratic Front set to take Kerala, the Congress is today’s big loser, ousted from two states. A faint hope is held out for the party in Puducherry, where it is neck and neck with the ruling NR Congress. “We accept the verdict of people with humility,” tweeted party vice president Rahul Gandhi.

Three hours into counting of votes in five states, the BJP was leading in 76 seats in Assam, well past the 64 it needs to form a government in the state. It projected Union Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal for chief minister against the Congress’ Tarun Gogoi, who was Chief Minister for the last 15 years.

In Tamil Nadu, Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s AIADMK, is leading in 130 of the state’s 234 seats. It needs 118 for the half-way mark, in what is today’s closest contest.

While the DMK-Congress are trailing at 99 seats, there is a difference of only one per cent in the vote shares of the two. Captian Vijaykanth of the DMDK, who led a third front of four parties, has been routed.

In West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee has constructed another sweep, with her Trinamool Congress ahead in 217 of the state’s 294 seats. The Left-Congress alliance is trailing far behind.