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Trinamool, AIADMK poised to win, Left fights in Kerala

Friday May 13, 2011 10:39:01 AM, IANS

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New Delhi: Boisterous celebrations erupted in Kolkata and Chennai Friday as the Trinamool Congress and the AIADMK-led alliance were headed for stunning wins in West Bengal and Tamil Nadu respectively.

The Left Democratic Front (LDF) was neck and neck with the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) in Kerala although pundits predicted that any of the fronts could scrape through.

Predictably, the Congress was ahead of a divided opposition in Assam while the Congress was also leading in tiny Puducherry deep in the south.

As millions of votes polled in the staggered elections were counted across four states and the union territory of Puducherry, West Bengal was preparing for a historic result with the Left Front rule set to end after 34 uninterrupted years.

Hundreds of Trinamool Congress activists and supporters of party chief Mamata Banerjee danced in joy outside her residence in south Kolkata. There was unending slogan shouting. Sweets were distributed to all and sundry.

Election officials said the Trinamool-Congress alliance was ahead of its rivals in 151 of the 294 constituencies.

The Left Front, led by the Communist Party of India-Maxist (CPI-M), was poised for a drubbing.

"The opposition is coming to power," admitted former CPI-M leader and Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee, speaking about West Bengal.

In Tamil Nadu, where the ruling DMK was weighed down by allegation of corruption arising from the spectrum allocation scandal, candidates of the AIADMK and its allies were far ahead of the DMK, officials said.

The AIADMK-led alliance, which includes the Communists, were leading in 146 of the state's 234 constituencies.

In contrast, the DMK-led alliance was in the lead only in 39 seats.

Hundreds of men and women gathered outside the residence of AIADMK general secretary Jayaram Jayalalitha and the AIADMK office, shouting slogans and distributing sweets.

In Assam, the Congress, which has been in power for 10 long years, appeared to be on the victory lap. If it wins, the Congress would form a government for a third straight term.

The Congress was facing disaster in both Lok Sabha seats that went to the polls -- in Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

In Andhra Pradesh's Kadapa constituency, Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy of the newly floated YSR Congress Party was poised for a huge win.

With the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in the second spot, the Congress was gasping at the third spot.

In Chhattisgarh's Bastar Lok Sabha seat, Dinesh Kashyap of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was leading by about 7,200 votes over Kawasi Lakhman of the Congress.

Elections in the five states took place in April-May.






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Vice President Mohd. Hamid Ansari addresses after releasing the special issue of “Think India” quarterly on Faiz Ahmad Faiz, in New Delhi on May 10, 2011. Also seen in the picture is Member Planning Commission Dr Syeda Hameed among others.

(Photo: Hansraj)



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