Crucial election results on Sunday in shadow of raging COVID

Counting of votes will probably be held on Sunday in the high-stakes Assam, West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry meeting elections, overshadowed by the raging COVID pandemic, because the Bharatiya Janata Party seeks to consolidate its maintain over extra states and the Congress together with its allies makes an attempt to regain misplaced turf.

IMAGE: Officials wait to bear COVID-19 testing on the eve of counting day in Assam’s Tezpur. Photograph: PTI Photo

There will probably be 2,364 counting halls as in comparison with 1,002 halls in 2016 in 822 assemble constituencies, a greater than 200 % enhance, in view of the COVID tips, in keeping with the Election Commission which had drawn flak from the courts over the conduct of polls through the pandemic.

At least 15 rounds of sanitisation will probably be carried out at every polling centre, in addition to social distancing and different precautions, together with a ban on gatherings, will probably be strictly adopted, officers mentioned.


They mentioned counting of votes will start at 8 am and proceed late into the night time. As many as 1,100 counting observers will watch the method and candidates and brokers must produce a detrimental COVID check report or double dose of vaccination certificates to get an entry.

Exit polls have forecast a decent contest between the incumbent Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress and the BJP in the essential West Bengal meeting polls and put the ruling saffron mix forward in Assam whereas projecting that the Left alliance will retain Kerala, a feat unseen in 4 a long time.

For the Congress, the exit polls predicted that it might fall quick in Assam and Kerala and lose in Puducherry to the opposition alliance of All India NR Congress-BJP- All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.

The solely excellent news for the Congress was from Tamil Nadu, the place the exit polls predicted that the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam-led opposition alliance, of which it’s a half, will trounce the AIADMK-BJP coalition.

The ballot results in the 4 states and the UT are additionally more likely to replicate how the dealing with of the COVID pandemic has performed on the voters’ thoughts.

Polling was held in eight phases in West Bengal between March 27 and April 29, in Assam in three levels on March 27, April 1 and 6, whereas votes had been solid in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and the Union Territory of Puducherry in a single part on April 6, when the COVID surge had begun in many of the states.

Kerala, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal are among the many 11 states that account for 78.22 per cent of the whole energetic instances, in keeping with the Health ministry.

A 3-tier safety association is in place in West Bengal’s 108 counting centres and at the least 292 observers have been appointed and 256 firms of central forces deployed throughout 23 districts of the state that voted in a gruelling election marred by violence and cruel private assaults.

The consequence will determine whether or not Mamata Banerjee, who has been in energy for 10 years and is arguably preventing the hardest ballot of her political profession, has been capable of thwart the problem by the battle-hardened election military of the BJP led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah in West Bengal.

The BJP, which had simply three seats in the 294-member meeting in the 2016 meeting polls and went to win 18 out of 42 seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha election, had pulled out all stops in the state in a decided bid to oust Banerjee, a vocal critic of Prime Minister Modi, and add one other state to its tally of 17.

The Left-Congress alliance is third essential contestant in the state.

In Tamil Nadu, each Dravidian events — AIADMK and DMK — went into the election with out their stalwarts, J Jayalalithaa and M Karunanidhi.

Chief Minister Okay Palaniswami and his deputy O Panneerselvam will cement their place as successors of Jayalalithaa if the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazagham retains energy although it faces an uphill activity particularly after the rout in the 2019 Lok Sabha election when the DMK-led alliance received 38 out of 39 seats.

The AIADMK had scored successive wins in 2011 and in 2016, when Jayalalithaa bucked the anti-incumbency pattern — the primary by anybody in almost three a long time in the state.

After a slender defeat in the final meeting election the place a number of exit polls had predicted his social gathering’s win, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam chief M Okay Stalin spearheaded a decided election marketing campaign this time and vigorously toured the state to take on the ruling AIADMK.

AIADMK ally BJP, which had not received any seat in the final polls, is contesting in 20 constituencies. Another AIADMK ally PMK is contesting from 23 constituencies.

The Congress, an ally of the DMK, is in the fray in 25 meeting segments.

Actor-politician Kamal Haasan’s Makkal Needhi Maiam-led mix can be in the fray.

There are 75 counting centres throughout the state and all preparations are in place to easily conduct the train, which might be monitored by observers, authorities mentioned.

In Kerala, the Left Democratic Front is looking for to interrupt the state’s four-decade-old pattern of swinging between the communists and the Congress-led United Democratic Front.

As many as 957 candidates, together with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, 11 of his Cabinet colleagues, Opposition chief Ramesh Chennithala, senior Congress chief Oommen Chandy, ‘Metroman’ E Sreedharan, former Union Minister Okay J Alphons and BJP state president Okay Surendran, amongst others, had been in fray in the election to the 140 seats.

The BJP,which had received one seat in 2016, is assured of garnering extra seats this time

The ballot is critical for Kerala Congress-M chief Jose Okay Mani who lately snapped decades-long ties with the United Democratic Front and joined palms with the Left entrance.

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi had camped in the state for a number of days and brought half in dozens of nook conferences and rallies, with the social gathering hoping that the state will herald a flip in its electoral fortunes after a sequence of disappointments in current years.

In Assam, the ruling BJP is dealing with a problem from ‘Mahajoth’ or ‘Grand Alliance’ comprising the Congress, AIUDF, Bodoland Peoples’ Front, Communist Party of India-Marxist, CPI, CPI(ML) Liberation, Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Anchalik Gana Morcha.

The BJP has an alliance with the Asom Gana Parishad, the United People’s Party Liberal and the Gana Suraksha Party.

The saffron social gathering had scripted historical past by profitable the historically Congress-dominated state in 2016, after remaining on the fringes.

In Puducherry, the AINRC-led NDA and the Congress-led Secular Democratic alliance are in a contest. While AINRC fielded candidates in 16 of the whole 30 constituencies the BJP is contesting 9 seats whereas the AIADMK is contesting 5 seats.

The Congress-led authorities in the Union Territory had collapsed simply earlier than the elections.

Counting can even be held in 4 Lok Sabha seats and 13 meeting seats throughout 13 states the place bypolls had been held.

The EC has banned victory roadshows and automobile rallies.

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