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Left ahead in WB, Kerala; DMK led front in TN

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, May 11: The Left parties headed for victory in West Bengal and Kerala, the DMK-led front was set to dislodge the AIADMK in Tamil Nadu while a hung Assembly looked imminent in Asom as counting of votes polled in the assembly election progressed today.

There were early successes for the Congress in the Union Territory of Pondicherry while Congress President Sonia Gandhi was leading by a margin of 68,186 votes over her nearest rival Rajkumar Chaudhury (Samajwadi Party) in the Rae Bareli Lok Sabha constituency, from where she sought re-election.

After four rounds of counting in West Bengal, the ruling Left Front had forged ahead in 132 out of the 293 constituencies.

The CPI(M) alone was leading in 89 seats, while the other seats were being shared by its Left coalition partners.

Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and other heavyweight Left candidates like Industry Minister Nirupam Sen, Power Minister Mrinal Banerjee, Health Minister Surya Kanta Mishra, Employment Minister Susanta Ghosh and Forest Minister Jogesh Burman were leading in their respective constituencies.

The Trinamool Congress-BJP combine was coming a poor second with leads in 24 seats. The Indian National Congress (INC) was leading in 17 seats while the others were ahead in five seats.

The Congress was racing ahead in Asom with its main rival Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) lagging far behind, taking a firm lead in 28 seats.

Trends of 60 out of 126 constituencies in the state were available, of which the AGP was leading in 14 and Independents, mostly Bodo candidates, were ahead in nine constituencies.

The BJP was leading only in one seat while the AUDF was leading in four seats.

The DMK-led Democratic Progressive Alliance (DPA) had established leads in at least 100 seats and the ruling AIADMK in around 45 seats in the battle to capture power in Tamil Nadu as trends started pouring in from different parts of the state.

Minutes after the counting of votes polled in May eight election for the 234 Assembly seats began, the trends started trickling in amid anxiety in both DMK and AIADMK headquarters.

Trends indicated that the six-party DPA was all set to wrest power from the AIADMK, though it might not be a big victory for the front.

The DMK, contesting from 129 seats on its own, was unlikely to secure a majority on its own, which might result in the DMK forming a government with allies, giving Tamil Nadu its first coalition government.

The DMK allocated 48 seats to the Congress, 31 to the PMK and 13 to CPI(M), 10 to CPI and the remaining to minor allies.

Reports suggested that the AIADMK was very much in the race, but as trends started pouring in, it became clear that the party was losing power.

The AIADMK contested 182 seats, having allocated 35 seats to the Marumalarchi DMK (MDMK), nine to the Dalit Panthers of India and the remaining to the minor allies.

The Marxist-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) was all set to bounce back to power in Kerala, establishing a clear lead over the Congress-led ruling coalition as the counting of votes for the April-May Assembly polls progressed. The LDF candidates had surged ahead in 89 constituencies, while the United Democratic Front (UDF) was far behind with leads in only 51 constituencies. The BJP was nowhere in the picture.

CPI(M) stalwart and Chief Minister probable V S Achuthanandan had established a comfortable lead of over 11,000 votes over his Congress rival Satheesan Pacheni in Malampuzha constituency.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy (Congress) and LDF convener Paloli Mohammed Kutty were also leading against their respective rivals.

Former Union Minister and BJP leader O Rajagopal, Democratic Indira Congress (Karunakaran) President K Muraleedharan and several members of the Ommen Chandy Cabinet like Public Works Minister M K Muneer, Labour Minister Babu Divakaran, Agriculture Minister K R Gauri and Cooperation Minister M V Raghavan were trailing.

In Pondicherry, Congress leaders Palladi Krishna Rao (Yanam), A V Sreedharan (Palloor) P Ankalan (Thirubuvanai), V Vaithilingam (Nettipakkam) and E Valsaraj (Mahe) were elected. The Congress is seeking to retain power in the Union Territory.


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