Assembly election results 2021: Counting of votes for 5 states tomorrow, all eyes on West Bengal

by Emma

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Counting of votes tomorrow at 8 am

Assembly Election results 2021 tomorrow (May 2): Counting of votes for five states — Assam, West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry — that went to polls from March 27 to April 29 will be held tomorrow (Sunday, May 2). The Election Commission has more than doubled the counting halls to 2,364 from 1,002 halls in 2016 in view of the raging Covid-19 pandemic. At least 15 rounds of sanitisation will be carried out at each polling centre, besides social distancing and other precautions, including a ban on gatherings, will be strictly followed, officials told news agency PTI.

Counting of votes will begin at 8 AM and continue late into the night. As many as 1,100 counting observers will watch the entire process and candidates and agents will have to produce a negative Covid test report or double dose of vaccination certificate to get an entry into the halls.

In West Bengal, exit polls have predicted a tight contest between Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress and the BJP. In neighbouring Assam, however,  the BJP-led NDA is ahead of the grand alliance stitched by the Congress. The polls have also predicted return of Pinarayi Vijayan in Kerala and MK Stalin in Tamil Nadu. Puducherry is predicted to elect the NDA over UPA.

PTI reports that a three-tier security arrangement is in place in Bengal’s 108 counting centres and at least 292 observers have been appointed and 256 companies of central forces deployed across 23 districts of the state. In Bengal, the fight is largely between TMC and BJP. In last five years, the BJP has emerged as the second dominant political force in the eastern state. This election will decide whether Mamata succeeds in holding fort or lose power to BJP. The saffron party had just three seats in the 294-member Assembly in the 2016 Assembly polls. But it won 18 out of 42 seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha election. The Left-Congress alliance is third main contestant but its area of influence is limited.

In Tamil Nadu, the AIADMK and DMK are the main players. Exit polls have predicted massive win for MK Stalin’s DMK. The ruling AIADMK has BJP alliance partner while DMK has Congress on its side. The EC has set up 75 counting centres across the state and all arrangements are in place to smoothly conduct the exercise.

In Kerala, the Left-led LDF is seeking to return to power under the leadership of Pinarayi Vijayan. Here, the contest is between LDF and Congress-led UDF. The BJP, which had won just one seat in the last election, is confident of cornering some more seats this time. However, polls have predicted return of Left government.

In Assam, the ruling BJP is facing a tough challenge from Grand Alliance of eight parties including the Congress, and Ajaml’s AIUDF. The saffron party has an alliance with the Asom Gana Parishad, the United People’s Party Liberal and the Gana Suraksha Party. Here, the polls have predicted return of the BJP.

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