Election results roundup: Assam, Bengal, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu

West Bengal

Poriborton waves its green flag again
Trinamool Congress, (TMC) headed by Mamata Banerjee secured a two-thirds majority, fighting it alone against the Left-Congress combine. Bettering its performance from the 2011 elections, TMC, which had then contested in alliance with Congress and won 184 seats in the 294-member Assembly, has now bagged 211 seats.

Members of the AIADMK break coconuts as they celebrate victory outside the party office in Chennai yesterday. Pics/PTI
Members of the AIADMK break coconuts as they celebrate victory outside the party office in Chennai yesterday. Pics/PTI

Five caught in Narada sting win
The Narada sting operation failed to cut much ice with the electorate as five of the six TMC nominees caught in the alleged bribery scandal have emerged victorious in the assembly polls. The only “stung” candidate to lose was Madan Mitra, the first former state minister to contest the polls from behind the bars. Five of the legislators caught in the sting: Suvendu Adhikari from Nandigram, Frihad Hakim from Kolkata Port, Subrata Mukherjee from Ballygunge, Sovan Chatterjee from Behala East, and Iqbal Ahmed from Khanakul — retained their seats.

TMC workers celebrate the party’s landslide victory in the West Bengal Assembly elections
TMC workers celebrate the party’s landslide victory in the West Bengal Assembly elections

Why Cong-Left alliance lost
Two opposition leaders, who played a key role in forging the unlikely pact blamed the “adverse political atmosphere” and the “selective transfer of BJP votes in specific constituencies” for the electoral debacle. Admitting that the alliance had “failed to reach out to the people the way it was desired”, CPI-M politburo member Mohammed Salim said: “We have to ponder over that.” State Congress general secretary Om Prakash Mishra, another architect of the alliance, called the result “very disappointing.” However, Mishra said the Left and the Congress should continue their alliance. “The politics and the policies we have advocated remain relevant. There is no reason for the alliance not to continue. On the contrary, it should be further strengthened in Bengal.”

Cong-CPI (M) alliance is a blunder: Mamata
Trinamool supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee dubbed the CPI-M and Congress’ decision to forge a tie-up as a “blunder” and flayed the central forces for committing “excesses.”

She said, “The biggest loss in this poll has been that of CPI-M. Its (tie-up) is a blunder for CPI-M, for state politics and for the Congress, it’s a blunder for their national politics.” “They have compromised with ideology; CPI-M will have to give explanation for that,” said Banerjee flaying the Marxist-led Left Front for entering into a tie-up with the Congress.

West Bengal
294: No of seats

211: Seats won by TMC

Assam

Assam tea gets a saffron flavour
Scripting history, the BJP yesterday stormed to power in Assam bagging a government in the northeast for the first time dethroning Congress. The results of the assembly elections saw the end of Congress rule in Assam, where it had scored a hat trick in the last elections under Tarun Gogoi. With Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal as its Chief Ministerial face, the BJP and its allies AGP and Bodo People’s Front scored a landslide victory.

BJP workers celebrate the party’s victory in the Assam assembly elections in GuwahatiBJP workers celebrate the party’s victory in the Assam assembly elections in Guwahati

BJP won a new state while Congress lost two: Javadekar
BJP has won a “new state” while the Congress has lost two, union Minister Prakash Javadekar said stressing that the two national parties would be the main ones to compete in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. He said in politics, the job is to assure victory, and if that does not happen, the aim is to defeat the enemy, or have a friendly party win. Asked if he was referring to AIADMK and TMC as “friendly parties,” he said, “The enemies are the Communists (parties) and the Congress... They shall be defeated... TMC and AIADMK are independent parties, they take decision as per their choice.”

Assamese hope for end to corruption
The people in Assam will now be watching the change that the saffron party has promised. “The people of Assam have been frustrated at the corruption of the Congress government. Although the Congress had also assured to seal the Indo-Bangladesh border and give employment to the people in 2001, nothing much changed in the three terms under the Congress government,” said Ananta Hazarika, a resident of Guwahati. “BJP’s win means a lot. The Bangladeshi infiltration has not stopped even though 30 years have elapsed since the signing of the Assam Accord. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh have assured that the Indo-Bangladesh border will be sealed to end the problem,” said Rakesh Thakur.

Meet the new CM
Name: Sarbananda Sonowal
Age: 54
Joined politics: When he became part of All Assam Students’ Union, where he served as President from 1992-1999.

>> Became the Chairman of North East Students’ Organisation from 1996-2000.

>> From AASU, he joined the Asom Gana Parishad in 2001 and was elected its MLA from Moran in 2001.

>> In 2004, he went on to successfully contest the Lok Sabha polls, wresting the seat from the Congress by defeating former Union Minister Paban Singh Ghatowar.

Tamil Nadu

Amma encore!
Proving exit polls wrong, Tamil Nadu’s ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) retained power yesterday. In contrast to widespread expectations that it may seize power, the DMK-Congress alliance fell way short of the halfway mark of 117. Most exit polls, after voting ended on May 16, had predicted a DMK win.

AIADMK supporters celebrate the party’s victory in Chennai yesterdayAIADMK supporters celebrate the party’s victory in Chennai yesterday

The bitter pill
The bad news for the AIADMK came from Chennai, which was battered by flash floods last December. Chennai voters appeared to have overwhelmingly turned against the ruling party. As per emerging trends, AIADMK candidates were trailing behind the DMK in 12 of the 16 constituencies in the capital. The DMK in its election campaign had played up the havoc caused by the floods.

13 in a row for Karunanidhi

M Karunanidhi was re-elected from Thiruvarur. He defeated his nearest AIADMK rival by 68,366 votes. This is the 13th time that the 91-year-old has won an assembly election.

High-profile losers
Though AIADMK won the election and will continue its governance, the party saw some top leaders, including senior ministers, biting the dust. Electricity Minister ‘Natham’
R Viswanathan, Social Welfare Minister
B Valarmathi, former housing minister
R Vaithilingam and former minister Indira lost to their DMK opponents.

Jaya does an MGR
In a historic triumph, J Jayalalithaa repeated what her mentor MG Ramachandran did in 1984. Amma managed to get a consecutive term to her party in Tamil Nadu.

Action heroes prove to be duds
Although politics and the movie world go hand in hand in Tamil Nadu, prominent action heroes in the fray lost the plot.

All India Samathuva Makkal Katchi chief R Sarathkumar and DMDK leader A Vijaykanth aka Captain Vijaykanth failed to garner public support.

Tamil Nadu

234: No of seats

134: Seats won by AIADMK

Kerala

Kerala turns red again

Buoyed by Left Democratic Front’s (LDF) massive win in the Kerala assembly elections, senior leaders of the CPI (M)-led alliance said the people of the state gave a verdict against corruption under the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) rule and communal politics practised by the BJP-led NDA. CPI (M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said the upcoming LDF government will work for the welfare of the people of the state.

LDF supporters celebrate party’s victory in the assembly electionsLDF supporters celebrate party’s victory in the assembly elections

Sreesanth throws in the towel
Cricketer-turned-politician S Sreesanth, who contested the poll on a BJP ticket from Thiruvananthapuram, lost the fight on his debut.

“Thanks to all the supporters for all the love and respect… will surly keep working for the people,” the former cricketer tweeted after his loss. He also congratulated BJP’s maiden winner O Rajagopal.

Five ducks
Five parties that cast their lot with either the LDF or the Congress-led UDF failed to open their assembly account. Revolutionary Socialist Party (B), Janata Dal (U) and Communist Marxist Party, Kerala Congress (D) and Kerala Congress (S) failed to open their accounts.

BJP makes Kerala debut
BJP created history by opening its account in the assembly for the first time. Former Union minister O Rajagopal won from Nemom by defeating CPI (M) MLA V Sivankutty by a margin of 8,671 votes. That the party managed to break the jinx and enter the assembly for the first time is politically significant.

CPI (M) supporter killed in bomb attack
A CPI (M) worker was killed and at least four were reportedly injured in Kannur district after a bomb was allegedly hurled at a rally organised by supporters to celebrate Pinarayi Vijayan’s victory and LDF’s return to power. The deceased has been identified as one Ravi.

Kerala

140: No of seats

91: Seats won by LDF

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