The counting of votes for the Assembly elections began in the four states- Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Union Territory of Puducherry adhering to Covid-19 protocols.
While Assam and West Bengal saw multiple phases of polling, electors in Kerala, Puducherry and Tamil Nadu cast their votes in a single phase on April 6.
The election results are seen as an early test of the impact the devastating second wave of the pandemic is having on support for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his right-wing BJP party.
Over 1,000 count observers will conduct the process with everyone expected to produce a negative Covid-19 test report or show they have been fully vaccinated.
Tamil Nadu Assembly Election Results 2021:
The DMK is leading in 134seats, the AIDMK is on 96. The leads are in for 224 seats.
The opposition DMK-Congress alliance is retaining its lead in the 234-member Tamil Nadu assembly though its gap with the AIADMK is shrinking. The DMK and its allies are leading in 129 seats. The ruling AIDMK – which started the day with a lead on 95 seats — is now leading on 104 seats. The majority mark stands at 118. The DMK has not been in power in the state for a decade, and this time the party and the AIADMK are contesting without their towering leaders, J Jayalalithaa and M Karunanidhi whose deaths have brought a huge change in the political landscape.
Tamil Nadu’s most iconic leaders J Jayalalithaa died in 2016, and M Karunanidhi in 2018. Their absence has left a huge political vacuum that many have raced to fill.
Actor Kamal Haasan and his Makkal Needhi Maiam or MNM, made a rather drab electoral debut in the 2019 general election, failing to win a single seat. This time they are leading in one seat.
“This has been an unprecedented election because of the pandemic. We are watching closely and frankly expected to perform better than what we are seeing so far,” DMK’s Manu Sundaram told NDTV. “The people saw this election as a choice between the BJP and BJP-controlled alliances and that of the DMK, which stands to oppose the BJP and its ideology,” he added.
The senior leader also said they expect the numbers to rise further as the counting of votes continues. “Though we have the overall lead at the moment, we were hoping to do much better,” he said.
Tamil Nadu was known for alternating between the two blocks every five years, but Jayalalithaa broke the mold in 2016, winning a second term in the state.
Chief Minister K Palaniswami is leading in his home segment of Edappadi in Salem district and leader of opposition and DMK president MK Stalin is ahead in the Kolathur constituency according to early trends.
The DMK is also ahead in constituencies including Kurinjipadi, Neyveli, Virudhachalam. The BJP’s state unit chief L Murugan is ahead in Dharapuram and AIADMK leaders and state ministers KC Veeramani and Benjamin were ahead in Jolarpet and Maduravoyal, reported news agency Press Trust of India.
Election Commission asks states to stop gatherings
India’s elections regulator asked states to take legal action against those gathering for celebrations. Election Commission India (ECI) has directed Chief Secretaries of all 5 states to file FIR in each such case, suspend concerned Station House Officer and report the action taken immediately of each such incidence.