Exit Poll Results 2021 date and time: Exit poll results for Bengal, Assam, TN, Kerala and Puducherry at 7.30 pm
As per the Election Commission, exit polls for West Bengal, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry can be published at 7.30 pm today — an hour after polls close
With West Bengal slated to hold its eight and final phase of polling today (Thursday, 29 April) all eyes will be glued to the exit polls for four states and one Union Territory.
As per the Election Commission, exit polls for West Bengal, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry can be published at 7.30 pm today (29 April, Thursday) — an hour after polls close.
The commission had earlier notified the period between 7 am on 27 March and 7.30 pm on 29 April during which publishing or publicising the result of exit polls by means of the print or electronic media or in any other manner will be prohibited.
Votes will be counted on 2 May.
Let us take a brief look at how elections unfolded in each state:
The seventh phase of Bengal Assembly polls on 26 April saw a total of 76.89 percent voter turnout amid tight security arrangements and COVID-19 safety protocols.
Campaigning for the phase 7 was a relatively low-key affair after the Election Commission imposed curbs in the wake of coronavirus cases in the state increasing exponentially. It also noted that COVID safety norms were being flouted in West Bengal during campaigning. It also disallowed any public meeting with more than 500 people.
Banerjee, who is also the TMC supremo and her nephew Abhishek Banerjee, who is the party MP, cancelled all their scheduled rallies and held them on the virtual platform as did Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 23 April. During the physical campaign rallies, rivals TMC and BJP, vying for 294 Assembly seats, repeatedly slammed each other.
The BJP leaders in their campaigns attacked Banerjee, her nephew Abhishek alleging involvement of party leaders in the Saradha and Narada tapes scams to the recent allegations of siphoning of funds allocated for Amphan cyclone and the COVID-19 pandemic relief.
The BJP leaders maintained that corruption and anarchy are prevalent in West Bengal and that the party will put an end to it after coming to power in the state.
Top BJP leaders such as Modi, Union home minister Amit Shah, defence minister Rajnath Singh, party president JP Nadda, Smriti Irani held several rallies and public meetings in different parts of the Assembly constituencies for this phase of poll.
The single-phase Assembly election in Tamil Nadu concluded peacefully on 6 April with a voter turnout of 71.43 percent as per the the EC's voter turnout app. In terms of districts, Karur saw the highest polling of 83.92 percent and Chennai saw the lowest with a 55.28 percent turnout.
While Palaniswami and Panneerselvam will cement their position as successors of Jayalalithaa if the AIADMK retains power though it faces an uphill task especially after the rout in the 2019 Lok Sabha election when the DMK-led alliance won 38 out of 39 seats. The AIADMK had scored successive wins in 2011 and in 2016 when Jayalalithaa bucked the anti-incumbency trend — the first by anyone in nearly three decades in the state.
After a narrow defeat in the last Assembly election where several exit polls had predicted his party's win, DMK chief MK Stalin spearheaded a determined election campaign this time and vigorously toured the state to take on the ruling AIADMK. He is seeking re-election for the straight third term from the Kolathur Assembly seat while his son and party youth wing secretary Udhayanidhi Stalin is debuting from the Chepauk-Triplicance constituency.
AIADMK ally BJP, which had not won any seat in the last pols, contested in 20 constituencies. Another AIADMK ally PMK is contested from 23 constituencies. The Congress, an ally of the DMK, was in the fray in 25 Assembly segments. Makkal Needhi Maiam, founded in 2018 and led by actor-politician Kamal Haasan, tried its luck in Assembly polls for the first time.
Assam, currently governed by the BJP-led NDA, witnessed three-phase polling on 27 March, 1 and 6 April.
The third and final phase saw polling passed off largely peacefully but for sporadic incidents of violence and disturbances for 82.33 percent turnout from 79.2 lakh electors.
The BJP, making a retain power in the northeastern state, is facing the combined challenge of eight parties including the Congress and the AIUDF of perfume baron turned politician Badruddin Ajmal, who might prove to be kingmaker.
The BJP and its allies AGP and UPPL contested 92 seats, 26 seats, and 8 seats respectively while on the other side the Congress claimed 94 seats for itself, AIUDF as allotted 14, Bodoland People’s Front got 12, and Communist Party of India (Marxist) just two.
The Rupun Sarma-led Communist Party of India (Marxist–Leninist) Liberation, Ajit Kumar Buyan’s Anchalik Gana Morcha, and RJD is contested a seat each.
Union minister Jitendra Singh earlier exuded confidence that the BJP will return to power in the state for the second consecutive term, saying high voter turnout reflects pro-incumbency.
"When the results are declared on 2 May, Assam is going to send out a message loud and clear, which is going to echo across the country," said Singh, the Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office. He said that in each of the three phases of polling, the voter turnout was consistently around 80 percent and this is a "pro-incumbency" vote.
"The BJP will retain Assam for the second consecutive time. Votes cast in the polls are pro-incumbency and will help the BJP only," he added.
Kerala's 140 seats went to the polls in a single phase on 6 April with 73.58 percent of the total 2.74 crore voters exercising their franchise.
The state is keenly watching a three-way battle between the incumbent Left-led LDF, the Congress-led UDF, and the BJP.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is seeking another term in office, even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah campaigned extensively for the BJP. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also took active part in the main Opposition party's campaign in the southern state.
Several heavyweight, including senior Congress leader and former chief minister Oommen Chandy, Kerala Congress (M) leader Jose K Mani, a key partner of the CPI(M)-led LDF, two Rajya Sabha BJP MPs KJ Alphons and Suresh Gopi are in the fray from constituencies spread across Ernakulam, Idukki, Kottayam and parts of Thrissur.
Central Kerala is considered a stronghold of the Congress-led UDF, but the LDF put up a strong show in the December 2020 civic polls, winning many local body seats.
Additionally, the Sabarimala temple issue and the incumbent government's COVID-19 management were also seen as likely to play on the minds of voters.
Puducherry, where polling was also conducted in a single phase on 6 April, witnessed a turnout of 81.64 percent.
The Congress-led Secular Democratic alliance is vying for power with the AINRC-led NDA in the Union Territory which has 30 Assembly seats. While AINRC fielded candidates in 16 of the total 30 constituencies the BJP is contesting nine seats, while the AIADMK is contesting five seats.
Yanam, where the AINRC leader N Rangasamy is contesting, registered a higher percentage of polling than other regions. The Congress fielded candidates in 14 out of the 15 seats; the national party supported an Independent in Yanam.
The DMK, its main alliance partner, fielded candidates in 13 seats and the VCK and CPI are contested from one constituency each.
The election is seen as a crucial battle for both the Congress-led SDA and the NDA, as the former makes a bid to regain power it lost just before the elections. The V Narayanasamy-led Congress government in the UT had collapsed in February after seven MLAs resigned one after another. Two of these MLAs later joined the BJP.
The NDA, under N Rangasamy, is also keen to win a majority and form the government.
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