In the most anticipated election results in recent times, Mamata Banerjee led Trinamool Congress (TMC) retained West Bengal, Communist Party of India – Marxist (CPI-M) led left front retained Kerala, Dravida Munnetra Kazhakam (DMK) won Tamil Nadu while BJP won Assam and the union territory of Puduchery.
Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress is leading in 215 of Bengal’s 294 seats and the BJP leads in 75 seats.
In Kerala CPI (M) left LDF won 99 seats and the Congress led UDF won 41 seats and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led NDA drew a blank in the state. It had a sole member in the last assembly.
In Tamil Nadu, the DMK is well ahead of the ruling AIADMK, which has an alliance with the BJP. MK Stalin’s DMK and its allies are leading in 157 seats and the AIADMK, in 77.
In Assam, the BJP is leading in 74 of the 126 seats, Congress leads in 51 seats.
In Puducherry, the N Rangaswamy’s AINRC-led alliance – of which the BJP is a part – is leading in 14 of the 30 assembly seats while the Congress is ahead in 7.
Voting for these elections took place in March and April, just as India started reporting thousands of fresh coronavirus infections every day. On March 14, two weeks before the first phase, there were fewer than 25,000 new cases a day. On March 27 there were around 62,000 and, by April 29, there were well over 3.5 lakh per day. On Saturday, new cases reached a record daily high of 401,993, the biggest across the world.
Alongside the Covid spike, leaders of all political parties, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, led political rallies at which large crowds discarded safety rules on masks and social distancing.
Last week, the Madras High Court said the Election Commission “should probably be booked for murder” for not stopping rallies. Late Saturday, the Commission hit back and filed a complaint in the Supreme Court.
The Election Commission has banned all victory processions.