The election schedule spread across four states and one Union Territory began on March 27 and continued till April 29. The counting of votes began on MAy 2 for the high-stakes assembly polls in four states - Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, and the Union territory of Puducherry. The process is in strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols as the country is grappling with the soaring daily number of cases. Here are the events as they unfolded.
Rajnath congratulates Mamata, Vijayan, Stalin on victories in assembly polls
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday congratulated West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, DMK leader MK Stalin and Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan for their success in the assembly polls.
In tweets, he extended his best wishes to the three opposition leaders with trends from the Election Commission showing that the ruling Trinamool Congress is heading for major victory in West Bengal, ruling LDF is poised to retain power in Kerala and DMK-led alliance would come to power in Tamil Nadu.
BJP was the major rival of Trinamool Congress in West Bengal and the leaders of two parties took digs at each other during the campaign.
"Congratulations to the Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee Didi on her party's victory in West Bengal assembly elections. My best wishes to her for her next tenure," Singh said.
"Congratulations to DMK leader, Thiru MK Stalin on his party's victory in Tamil Nadu assembly elections. I extend my best wishes to him.
"Congratulations to the Chief Minister of Kerala SPinarayi Vijayan on his party's victory in Kerala Assembly elections. My best wishes to him for his next tenure," he added.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's statement that the Bharatiya Janata Party, which had won one seat in Kerala in the 2016 Assembly polls, would see its account getting closed this time, has come true with the Centre's ruling party failing to secure any victory despite fighting hard in three constituencies.
In the 2016 Assembly polls, veteran BJP leader and former Union Minister O. Rajagopal had won the Nemom Assembly constituency in the Thiruvanthapuram district, getting the BJP its first-ever seat in the state.
As counting started on Sunday, the BJP was leading in three seats - Nemom, Palakkad and Thrissur.
At Nemom, former BJP state President Kummanam Rajasekheran was maintaining a lead till the last few rounds when former CPI-M legislator V. Sivankutty, who lost to Rajagopal the last time, breezed past him. In the process, Congress MP from Badagara K. Muraleedharan, who was asked to take on the responsibility to prevent the BJP repeating its victory, came a poor third.
Sivankutty won with a margin of over 5,000 votes
But the major upset was the loss of 'Metroman' E. Sreedharan in Palakkad. Leading right from the time counting started, he, however, lost steam in the last few rounds and eventually his Congress rival and Youth Congress President Shafi Parambil completed a hat trick of wins by a margin of 3,840 votes.
Malayalam superstar Suresh Gopi, presently a nominated member of the Rajya Sabha, also fought hard at Thrissur and at a few times, was leading, but at the end he had to settle in the third place after giving both the traditional rivals a few frights.
Now, all eyes are on the vote share of the BJP and certainly heads are expected to roll as its state President K.Surendran had to bite the dust in two constituencies where he contested - he came second at Manjeswaram and third in Konni.
Mamata Banerjee wins
Current West Bengal CM wins Nandigram seat by 1200 votes in photo-finish victory as TMC set to remain in power based on trends so far.
First time in 40 years
Former General Secretary of CPI (M) and senior party leader Prakash Karat on Sunday appreciate Chief Minister of Kerala Pinyari Vijayan for his "grand" victory of party-led alliance Left Democratic Front (LDF) in Kerala Assembly election.
However, the counting of votes still underway in the state and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) is leading on 99 seats out of 140 Assembly constituencies. Karat in an exclusive interview with ANI said: "I extend greetings to the people of Kerala who have created history by electing LDF government once again to power." The CPI-M leader also said that this victory is significant because no other government has been re-formed for 40 years.
"This is a significant victory because in the past 40 years no government has been re-elected for a second successive term. This shows that the people of Kerala have appreciated the excellent performance of Pinarayi Vijayan government. It has a record of the way they have tackled the flood, COVID and pro-people development," he said.
Former CPI(M) General Secretary Karat also said that this victory is also significant because it has improved upon the majority of LDF had in the last election.
"I am sure LDF government in Kerala will fulfilled the aspirations of the people," he added.
BJP hope Metro Man loses by 3000+ seats
89-year-old Sreedharan was considered the favourite and front-runner in the Palakkad constituency but lost to UDF candidate Shafi Parampil after leading throughout early counting trends.
LDF leading, or won in 100 seats
The current ruling party led by CM Pinarayi Vijayan won or is leading in 100 assembly seats in the state. This pushes UDF leads/wins to 40 while BJP has no leads or wins as of now.
With initial trends showing the ruling Trinamool Congress seeming to have an advantage in the race in West Bengal as the party is leading on more than 209 seats while the Bharatiya Janata Party is leading in 79 seats, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday congratulated TMC supremo and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for 'landslide victory'.
He also congratulated the people of West Bengal on this occasion.
In a tweet, the Delhi CM said, "Congratulations @MamataOfficial didi for landslide victory. What a fight! Congratulations to the people of WB."
UDF loses strongholds in Kerala
While UDF is leading in or won 44 seats so far, major strongholds have been lost to the current ruling party, LDF.
BJP loses early leads in Kerala
Despite early leads from three seats in Kerala, BJP seems to have lost steam in the state with LDF emerging the clear winner in the race.
TMC supporters gather outside BJP office
Despite EC's order to stop gatherings, supporters of parties are gathering and celebrating in Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.
Police stop gatherings
After the Election Commission directive, police stepped in to stop gatherings and celebrations as vote counting continued.
Election Commission asks states to stop gatherings
India's elections regulator asked states to take legal action against those gathering for celebrations. Election Commission India (ECI) has directed Chief Secretaries of all 5 states to file FIR in each such case, suspend concerned Station House Officer and report the action taken immediately of each such incidence.
'BJP to form government in Assam'
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal is confident of retaining power in the state as the trends suggest Bharatiya Janata Party leading.
"As per the trends, it is clear that Bharatiya Janata Party will form the government in Assam with United People's Party, Liberal (UPPL)," Sonowal told ANI on Sunday.
Sonowal further said, "This is the result of the support of the people. We have to wait till the vote-counting is complete but the trend shows that the people are on our side."
The counting of votes in 126 seats in the state is underway.
TMC leads in Bengal
All India Trinamool Congress is leading in 202 seats, official trends report shows, ANI tweeted. Party workers were filmed celebrating the early trends.
DMK leads in Tamil Nadu
As the counting of votes for the single-phase Tamil Nadu Assembly elections is underway, early trends show DMK's Udhayanidhi Stalin leading from the Chepauk-Thiruvallikeni constituency.
Official trends also show Udhayanidhi's father and party president MK Stalin leading from the Kolathur Assembly constituency.
As the day progressed, the ruling Trinamool Congress seemed to have an advantage in the race as TMC is leading in 166 seats while the Bharatiya Janata Party is leading in 83 seats as per the initial trends.
Former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state chief and the party candidate from Nemom, Kummanam Rajasekharan is leading from his constituency as counting of votes is underway in Kerala.
Rajasekharan, who was also the former Mizoram Governor, is contesting against V Sivankutty of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and MP K Muraleedharan of the Congress.
The polling in the state was held in a single phase on April 6.
Chief Minister of Assam Sarbananda Sonwaol is leading from Assam's Majuli constituency, as per the latest trend. The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party is leading in 56 seats while Congress is leading in 28 seats.
Suresh Gopi leading from Thrissur
Actor and politician Suresh Gopi is leading from his BJP seat in Thrissur.
BJP lead on three seats in Kerala
Congress candidate from Kerala's Puthuppally constituency Oommen Chandy is leading in the constituency, as per the latest trend.
Chandy is the former Chief Minister of the state. According to the latest trend in Kerala, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) - (CPI-M) is leading on 55 seats, followed by Congress on 23 seats.
The Bharatiya Janata Party is leading on three seats.
DMK leads in Tamil Nadu
ANI: DMK workers and supporters celebrate outside Anna Arivalayam, the party headquarters in Chennai, as official trends show the party leading.
Kamal Haasan leading from South Coimbatore seat
ANI reported that Makkal Needhi Maiam chief and actor Kamal Haasan is leading from Coimbatore (South) constituency. He founded the ‘Makkal Needhi Maiam’ party in 2018.
LDF leading in Kerala
In what could be a historic turn of events, LDF is leading in Kerala as early trends come in.
Early trends show Khela shesh so far as Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is trailing from Nandigram seat while her opponent, BJP's Suvendu Adhikari is leading from the seat.
Initial trends suggest that the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) is leading on 68 seats while Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is leading in 36 seats. TMC's Aroop Biswas is leading from Tollyganj while BJP's Babul Supriyo is trailing.
BJP leading in Assam
ANI reported that BJP is leading on 31 seats in Assam while ally Asom Gana Parishad was leading on 6. Congress leading on 9, and it ally AIUDF on 5.
The ruling Trinamool Congress is leading in seven seats while Bharatiya Janata Party is leading in three seats as per the initial trends. The counting of votes on 294 seats in the state began on Sunday at 8am [IST] following COVID-19 protocols.
The early trends showed that West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee is trailing from Nandigram seat. Bengal witnessed a fierce contest between the ruling Trinamool Congress and BJP across eight phases. The Samyukta Morcha comprising the Congress, Left parties and ISF has also tried to put up a strong fight. The BJP has made a concerted attempt to dislodge the TMC.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is contesting to wrestle the power out of the hands of three-time chief minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee.
In Tamil Nadu, ANI reported that AIADMK was leading on 52 seats, DMK on 49.
Congress and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) are leading in five seats each in early trends of counting of votes for Kerala Assembly.
The counting of votes in the Assam polls has commenced and early trends have started to pour in showing Bharatiya Janata Party leading on six seats while Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) is leading on two seats. Meanwhile, Indian National Congress and Bodoland Peoples Front are leading on one seat each.
Counting of votes for Assam Assembly Polls is underway at two locations in Dibrugarh --- Dibrugarh Government Boys Higher Secondary School and Deputy Commissioner Office of Dibrugarh.
- Inputs from agencies