NEW DELHI: Sarbananda Sonowal will be the new chief minister of Assam with the BJP set to win Assam, while West Bengal and Tamil Nadu have chosen to retain their powerful women chief ministers Mamata Banerjee and J Jayalalithaa.
Here are the latest developments:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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. ‘People have understood opposition’s lies’, said Ms Banerjee, who is set for a bigger win than last time.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called Ms Banerjee and Ms Jayalalithaa to congratulate them on their wins.
- “I thank the people of Assam, WB, TN, Puducherry & Kerala for their support & assure them we will always work hard & serve them,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi also tweeted.
- It’s been a good morning for the BJP. Apart from Assam, it is leading in seven West Bengal seats, with ally Gorkha Janmukti Morcha leading in three, in what is the party’s best performance ever in the state.
- It is also set to debut in Kerala, where it is leading in one seat. The BJP has never won an assembly or parliament seat in Kerala.
- The Left alliance has to choose between Pinarayi Vijayan and 93-year-old Marxist veteran VS Achutanandan for Kerala’s next chief minister. Mr Pinarayi is said to be the front runner.
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