Counting of votes for the Tamil Nadu assembly elections 2021 will begin at 8 am today along with four states that went to polls this year. The counting begins as a raging coronavirus pandemic infects lakhs daily giving rise to fears that the process may lead to rise in cases further. Polls were held in the 234 assembly constituencies of Tamil Nadu in a single phase on April 6. The ruling AIADMK contested 191 seats, with 23 given to the PMK and only 20 for the BJP. The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) contested 188 and its ally, the Congress, 25, with the rest going to minor allies.
Actor-politician Kamal Haasan’s Makkal Needhi Maiam contested 142 seats, with 85 divided between a handful of allies and the AMMK of TTV Dhinakaran, who is the nephew of expelled AIADMK chief Sasikala. The AMMK contested 165 and left 60 to the DMDK, with the rest going to smaller allies.
Nearly 4,000 candidates contested the polls including Chief Minister E Palaniswami, Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, DMK President MK Stalin, his son and party youth wing secretary Udhayanidhi Stalin, AIADMK’s key rival TTV Dhinakaran and Kamal Haasan.
In the 2016 election, the AIADMK won 134 seats, the DMK got 89, and the Congress eight. Though this was AIADMK’s second straight victory, the party lost its chief J Jayalalithaa months after she occupied the chair for the fifth time.
The opposition DMK, which last ruled between 2006 and 2011, now sees a chance to replace the AIADMK in the state where the two parties have ruled every five years in the recent decades.
In Tamil Nadu, there are 75 counting centres spread across the state and all arrangements are in place to smoothly conduct the exercise, authorities said.
Here are the Live Updates for results of the Tamil Nadu assembly elections 2021:
Tamil Nadu Election Results: Will Kamal Haasan be able to make a mark?
Kamal Haasan and his Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) had a rather forgettable electoral debut in the 2019 general election – they failed to win a single seat. He had said he was more confident this time. “We were a nascent party for the Lok Sabha election… Now we are actual fighters for the cause,” Mr Haasan had told NDTV.
Tamil Nadu assembly polls results: First election in state since deaths of J Jayalalithaa, M Karunanidhi
This was the first state election since the deaths of J Jayalalithaa (who died in 2016) and M Karunanidhi (who died in 2018) – both were among Tamil Nadu’s most iconic political leaders, and their absence left a power vacuum many raced to fill.
The DMK is predicted to come to power in the state, according to NDTV’s poll of exit polls. DMK and allies are forecast to win at least 160 seats, while the ruling AIADMK along with its ally BJP are predicted to win 66. TTV Dhinakaran’s AMMK is likely to win 1 seat, according to a poll of exit polls.
(Warning: Exit polls often get it wrong)