Counting of votes begins in five states


election countingCounting of votes in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Kerala and Puducherry Assembly elections began on 19 May morning.

The first trends would be available after at around 9 am. A clear picture would emerge as to which party is leading (in those states that went to polls) by 12noon.

The counting decides the fate of 8,300 candidates. Prominent among the candidates include West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and CPI(M) Suryakanta Mishra in West Bengal, Assam CM Tarun Gogoi and BJP CM candidate Sarbananda Sonowal and Himanta Biswas, Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa and DMK patriarch Karunanidhi, Kerala CM Oommen Chandy and CPI (M) leaders VS Achuthanandan and Pinarayi Vijayan, and Puducherry CM M Rangaswamy.

Votes sent from EVMs would begin once the postal ballots are counted. The counting unit will begin in the presence of senior officials and counting agents of candidates and the result command keyed in to get results per machine. After a voter-verified paper audit trail has been used, the returning officer will take a final count of votes.

The electorate seems to have sought a change by giving Bharatiya Janata Party a slim chance at government formation in Assam. The BJP hopes to open its account in Kerala and post its best performance in West Bengal by winning five seats. The Congress may not form the government in Kerala and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam is likely to have an opportunity to regain power by dislodging AIADMK, as per various exit polls.

While this was so, West Bengal will firmly vote for Trinamool Congress again. Chief Minister Mata Banerjee will hold on to her seat by defeating the Left-Congress alliance for a second consecutive term.

The Congress could find itself holding on to the Union Territory of Puducherry where it is likely to gain power in association with DMK.