Assam and West Bengal Election Results LIVE Updates: As of 9 pm tonight, the EC website showed a slim lead for Mamata Banerjee. The incumbent CM has secured 84,004, while Suvendu Adhikari has got 82,551 votes
Assam and West Bengal Election Results 2021 LATEST Updates: The fierce battle for the Nandigram seat took yet another turn on Sunday evening, as the Election Commission website showed a slim lead for incumbent West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee in its update at 8.45 pm. The website showed 84,004 votes for Banerjee as opposed to 82,551 votes for her former protegee Suvendu Adhikari.
Meanwhile, Adhikari, fighting from the constituency that is his family's bastion on a BJP ticket, tweeted the tabulation sheet from the constituency's polling officers and claimed that the electorate had chosen him as their MLA. Meanwhile, reports said that the EC is undertaking the counting of VVPAT slips and will declare the finak outcome only after the process is complete.
The BJP and its NDA ally AGP have registered wins in 18 and four seats respectively in Assam, according to the 8.20 pm update on the Election Commission's website. The BJP is leading in 40 and the AGP is leading in seven.
Meanwhile, the Congress has won five and is leading in 24. The party has retained late former chief minister Tarun Gogoi's constituency Titabar.
Banerjee struck a celebratory note on the TMC's performance in the polls and said that the "landslide victory" in Bengal "has saved the country".
"This is victory of people of Bengal. Bengal landslide victory has saved the country. EC did not behave well with us. Khela Hobe and Joy Bangla were most important slogans. Covid is my first priority. We will not have grand swearing in because of Covid despite this landslide victory."
"We will give free vaccine to everybody. If the Centre does not agree will go on a dharna. I did not expect such a victory. Please do.not bring out victory processions in wake of COVID. Salute to my motherland. I am proud to say Bengal saved the country," she added.
The TMC, which is celebrating trends indicating a landslide victory in West Bengal, faced a curveball in the Nandigram constituency which is being fiercely fought by incumbent West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and BJP candidate Suvendu Adhikari.
While initially reports said that Banerjee had won the seat, subsequent trends showed Adhikari in the lead. In view of this, the TMC tweeted asking people to refrain from speculating because the counting of votes was still underway in the constituency.
Addressing reporters after the TMC looked set to sweep the West Bengal polls with leads in 207 seats and wins in five seats, Mamata Banerjee hailed her party's victory. However, a neck-and-neck contest is underway in the Nandigram seat.
She said, "Don't worry about Nandigram, I struggled for Nandigram because I fought a movement. It's okay. Let the Nandigram people give whatever verdict they want, I accept that. I don't mind. We won more than 221 seats and BJP has lost the election."
TMC candidate Arup Roy, who is the West Bengal agriculture minister, is leading in the Howrah Madhya constituency. TMC candidate Nandita Chowdhury is leading in Howrah Dakshin, The Hindu reported.
Meanwhile, BJP candidate Umesh Rai leading in the Howrah Uttar constituency, the report added.
Mamata Banerjee, incumbent West Bengal chief minister and TMC president, will address reporters after 6 pm as the ruling party pulled ahead and maintained its lead in 208 of 290 seats, as per the EC website.
Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh congratulated incumbent West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on her "next tenure" as the ruling TMC maintained its lead in 207 of 290 seats.
"Congratulations to the Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee, on her party’s victory in West Bengal assembly elections. My best wishes to her for her next tenure," tweeted Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. as trends indicated a victory for Banerjee.
The incumbent CM, who was trailing at the end of the third round, began taking a lead in the East Midnapore district, where she was pitted against her Cabinet colleague-turned-adversary Suvendu Adhikari.
It is understandable that we are euphoric, but we also know that during COVID-19 we have to celebrate responsibly, said the Rajya Sabha MP.
The TMC supremo, who was trailing at the end of the third round, began taking a lead in Nandigram, where she contested against her cabinet colleague-turned-adversary Suvendu Adhikari on 1 April.
The BJP national secretary left the party headquarters in Kolkata as the trends showed the saffron party may end up sitting in the Opposition.
In Darjeeling, BJP candidate Neeraj Tamang Zimba is steadily closing in, as per data put out by the Election Commission. Zimba has received 15,064 votes so far.
The Election Commission’s official trends suggested the ruling Trinamool Congress was ahead in 202 of 294 Assembly constituencies while the BJP in 77.
The ruling TMC had a vote share of 48.5%, the corresponding number for the BJP was 37.4%, according to the poll watchdog’s website.
Mamata Banerjee who led an aggressive campaign to counter the BJP onslaught in West Bengal Assembly elections is trailing in Nandigram against her aide-turned-rival Suvendu Adhikari.
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However, Adhikari's lead has gone down from over 8,000 votes to 3,710 votes in past few hours. According to initial trends, the West Bengal chief minister was trailing by nearly 8,500 votes.
According to early trends, as reported by News18, Shobhandeb Chatterjee of Trinamool leading in Bhowanipore Assembly seat. Bhowanipore is the home turf of chief minister Mamata Banerjee.
Chatterjee is pitted against actor Rudranil Ghosh, who contested the Bengal polls on BJP ticket.
According to the latest figures of Election Commission, Trinamool Congress is ahead with 48.48% of the total vote share while, BJP has 37.30% vote share.
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In Assam, the BJP crossed the half-way mark in early leads, ahead of its nearest rival Congress, which campaigned hard to reclaim its one-time bastion.
The ruling Mitrajot or the NDA, spearheaded by the BJP, is leading in 76 seats, making its way to the majority mark of 64 out of 126 constituencies.
As per early trends at 10.41 am, the ruling party has crossed the halfway mark in Bengal Assembly polls after leading in 178 of 294 seats. While, BJP was ahead in 88 seats.
As per Election Commission's website, counting of votes in West Bengal has been conducted in 154 of 294 Assembly constituencies as of 10.30 am.
After the second round of counting at 9.47 am, Adhikari's lead against ruling TMC has increased from 1,497 votes to 4,557 votes.
At 9.28 am, Adhikari had secured 7,287 votes against 5,790 votes gained by TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee in Nandigram.
As per the latest figures, as reported by News18, the TMC is leading in 135 seats in West Bengal, while the BJP is leading on 85 seats.
After the first round of counting at 9.28 am, Adhikari has 7,287 votes against 5,790 votes gained by TMC supremo in Nandigram.
The TMC turnout has been fielded by the BJP against chief minister Mamata Banerjee from Nandigram seat.
According to the current leads, the ruling Trinamool Congress is ahead in 58 of the total 294 seats in Bengal. Whereas, the BJP is giving a tough contest to Mamata-led TMC after leading in 55 seats.
While Mamata's TMC will be hoping to overcome the anti-incumbency factor and come to power for a third consecutive term, the BJP will be trying to build on the big gains it made during the Lok Sabha polls in 2019 in the state.
Polling in West Bengal, held over eight phases in 294 Assembly seats from 27 March to 29 April, saw an intense and often vitriolic campaign by both the ruling TMC and the BJP.
Counting of votes for the high-stakes West Bengal Assembly Election and the Assam Assembly Election will begin at 8 am today (Sunday, 2 May).
With COVID-19 cases spiralling out of control across India, the Election Commission has made elaborate arrangements for the counting of votes in both states by putting in place measures to ensure strict adherence to health protocols, election officials said.
In Assam, which voted in three phases on 27 March, 1 April and 6 April, a three-tier security apparatus has also been arranged at the 331 counting halls.
At least 292 observers have been appointed and 256 companies of central forces deployed at the 1,113 counting halls spread across 23 districts of West Bengal, which voted in eight phases between 27 March and 29 April.
West Bengal: TMC has an edge, but saffron gains crucial
In Bengal, counting of votes will take place in 292 of the 294 seats only as polling for two seats has been deferred due to the death of the candidates. Elections to two seats — Shamsherganj and Jangipur in Murshidabad district — has been postponed following the death of candidates.
A three-tier security arrangement is in place in West Bengal's counting centres and 256 companies of central forces deployed across 23 districts of the state that voted in a gruelling election marred by violence and vicious personal attacks.
The result will decide whether Mamata Banerjee, who has been in power for 10 years and is arguably fighting the toughest poll of her political career, has been able to thwart the challenge by the battle-hardened election army of the BJP led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah.
The BJP, which had just three seats in the 294-member Assembly after the polls and went to win 18 out of 42 seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha election, had pulled out all the stops in the state in a determined bid to oust Banerjee, a vocal critic of Prime Minister Modi, and add another state to its tally of 17.
The Left-Congress alliance is the third main contestant in the state.
Exit polls data released on 29 April after the conclusion of the eighth and final phase of polls had predicted a tight contest between the ruling All India Trinamool Congress and the BJP in the state of West Bengal with the BJP making strong gains both in terms of vote share and seats.
As far as the Congress, Left and ISF alliance is concerned, the grouping, according to pollsters is unlikely to win more than 21 seats.
However, considering exit polls are often wrong, who will get the magic figure of 147 in the house of 294 will be known only after the votes are counted on Sunday.
Assam: Tight contest likely
In Assam, an 82.04 percent voter turnout was recorded in the three-phase elections to 126 assembly constituencies. Chief Electoral Officer, Assam, Nitin Khade said that participation of women in the polling was "remarkable" with 80.63 percent of the total women voters exercising their franchise.
The ruling BJP is facing a challenge from 'Mahajoth' or 'Grand Alliance' comprising the Congress, AIUDF, Bodoland Peoples' Front (BPF), CPI(M), CPI, CPI(ML) Liberation, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Anchalik Gana Morcha (AGM).
The BJP has an alliance with the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), the United People's Party Liberal (UPPL) and the Gana Suraksha Party (GSP),
However, the BJP on Friday exuded confidence of returning to power in Assam for a second straight tenure, making a projection of bagging 83 Assembly seats along with its alliance partners, the AGP and UPPL.
Addressing a press conference in Guwahati, state BJP president Ranjit Kumar Dass had said the saffron party is set to win 70 seats, while the AGP is likely to emerge victorious in eight seats and the UPPL in five.
"BJP is on course to form government in the state for the second time with the blessings of the people, Dass said.
Among 21 constituencies, the party has expressed "doubts" about winning, he said the BJP is likely to be victorious in at least three seats. "In the previous elections, our constituency-wise calculations were accurate, and we are hopeful that we will be correct this time, too," he said.
Pollsters too have predicted the BJP to return to power in the northeastern state, while the Opposition Congress is predicted to fall short of the majority mark.
Assam has a total of 126 seats. A party needs at least 64 seats to be able to form government in the state.
The saffron party had scripted history by winning the traditionally Congress-dominated state in 2016, after remaining on the fringes.
Counting to be held amid tight security, COVID guidelines
With India facing a second wave of COVID-19 , counting of votes will take place amidst strict COVID-19 rules.
No candidates or their agents will be allowed inside the counting halls without a negative coronavirus report, according to the latest result-day guidelines issued by the Election Commission.
All the EVMs and VVPATs at the counting centres will be sanitised before the commencement of the process.
"Masks, face shields and sanitiser will be kept outside the centres for those involved in the exercise. At least 15 rounds of sanitisation will be done at each centre during the process. We have made a special arrangement for this," an election official told PTI.
The poll panel has decided to place tables in the counting hall in such a way so that social distancing norms are maintained. "Not more than seven tables, instead of 14, will be allowed in a counting hall. More tables will be placed where we do not have any space constraint," he said.
Besides, Assam and West Bengal, counting of votes will also take place in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and the Union Territory of Puducherry. Pollsters have predicted the Congress-DMK alliance to form the next govt in Tamil Nadu, whereas the ruling LDF alliance is predicted to return for a second term. In Puducherry, the BJP was predicted to be in the lead.
With inputs from PTI