Political future of five CMs to be decided on Thursday

The political future of chief ministers of West Bengal, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and the union territory of Puducherry will be decided when counting of votes cast in elections to their assemblies is taken up on Thursday morning.

The counting of votes stored in EVMs and ballot boxes in the four states and the union territory of Puducherry will start at 8 a.m. and results will be out by 2 p.m., Election Commission officials said. The trends will, however, start emerging around 10 a.m.

If exit polls so far are anything to go by, chief ministers Tarun Gogoi (Assam), Oommen Chandy (Kerala), and M. Rangaswamy (Puducherry) are set to lose power, while Mamata Banerjee (West Bengal) and J. Jayalalithaa (Tamil Nadu) may get the voters’ nod for another five-year term.

In Assam, if voted to power, the BJP will form its first-ever government in the north-east, dislodging the Congress that stayed in power for 15 long years.

The Left may not stage a comeback in West Bengal but is likely to comfortably form a government in Kerala which is at present ruled by the Congress, exit polls indicate.

The Congress-DMK alliance may not be successful in wresting power from the ruling AIADMK despite a closely-fought electoral battle, but the coalition may form the next government in Puducherry, according to exit poll results.

As per the Election Commission guidelines, the counting of votes stored in electronic voting machines (EVMs) will begin half an hour after the postal ballots are counted.

While the elections to the Assam assembly were held in two phases beginning April 4, those for the West Bengal assembly were held over a month in six phases, commencing on April 4 and concluding on May 5.

In Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, polling was held on May 16.


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