Counting of votes in Assam and three other states – West Bengal, Kerala and Tamil Nadu – and the Union Territory of Puducherry began at 8am
The Bharatiya Janata Party-led coalition on Sunday was leading with a huge margin in Assam Assembly elections, early trends from the Election Commission showed.
Counting of votes in Assam and three other states – West Bengal, Kerala and Tamil Nadu – and the Union Territory of Puducherry began at 8am, local time. The majority mark in the 126-seat Assam Assembly is 64.
As of 3:15pm BDST, the BJP was leading in 58 seats, its allies the Asom Gana Parishad in 11 and the United People’s Party Liberal in eight. The coalition’s tally was 77.
The opposition was ahead in 42 seats. The Congress was leading in 27 constituencies, the All India United Democratic Front in 12, the Bodoland People’s Front in two and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) in one. One independent candidate was also leading.
In the Manjuli constituency, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal was ahead with 13,961 votes, securing 65.74% of the vote share. Congress’ candidate Rajib Lochan Pegu was far behind with 6,013 votes, 28.32% of the vote share.
As the early trends showed the BJP leading, Sonowal expressed confidence that the saffron party-led alliance will retain power in the state, reported The Indian Express.
“People have blessed us,” Sonowal told reporters. “We can say for sure that the BJP will form government in Assam. We are coming back to power with our partners AGP and UPPL.”
BJP’s Himanta Biswa Sarma was leading in the Jalukbari seat with 14,254 votes, amassing 79.79% of the vote share. Congress candidate Romen Chandra Borthakur was lagging far behind with 2,839 votes.
In Titabor constituency, Congress’ Bhaskar Jyoti Baruah was ahead with 29,504 votes (55.04% vote share).
BJP candidate Hemanta Kalita was not far behind with 21,539 votes. The constituency was earlier held by former Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi for four consecutive terms before he died in November.
The polling in the state was marred with few controversies. Hours after voting ended on April 1, an electronic voting machine was found in a private vehicle of a BJP leader.
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Four Election Commission officials were suspended and the poll panel ordered repolling in a booth in Ratabari constituency.
Later in the same week, another five Election Commission officials were suspended after it was found that 171 votes were cast at a booth in Dima Hasao district that has just 90 registered voters. The poll panel also ordered repolling in a few more booths.
Further, the Election Commission reduced the campaigning ban imposed on Sarma from 48 hours to 24 hours, three days ahead of the last phase of voting on April 6.
Sarma was barred from campaigning after he threatened Bodoland People’s Front leader Hagrama Mohilary. The BJP and Mohilary’s party fought the 2016 polls together, but the latter forged an alliance with the Congress this March.