Campaigning to end in TN, Kerala, and Puducherry, stakes are high for CPIM and BJP
Two month long electioneering for assembly elections in Tamil Nadu Puducherry and Kerala will come to a close today evening. While the CPIM led Left Democratic Front is battling the Congress led United Democratic Front (UDF) in Kerala, in Tamil Nadu the battle is between traditional rivals AIADMK and DMK. BJP is trying to open its account in Kerala.
The counting of votes in these states, along with Assam and West Bengal will be taken up on Thursday.
The polling for 234 seats in Tamil Nadu, 140 constituencies in Kerala and 30 seats in Puducherry will be held on May 16.
In Kerala assembly elections, Congress is contesting 87 seats while the CPIM has put candidates in 85 seats. BJP is trying its luck in 98 seats. Kerala has 140 assembly seats.
The BJP is fighting along with its key ally Bharath Dharam Jana Sena, (BDJS), a party formed by Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana (SNDP) Yogam, a powerful social organisation of backward Ezhava community
Tamil Nadu has 234 assembly seats. In the 2011 assembly elections, AIADMK had won 150, DMDK-29, DMK-23, CPM-10, CPI-9 and others-13 seats respectively. There are 30 assembly seats in Poducherry
While the election is important for the CPIM, which can make a come back in national politics if the front it leads could win West Bengal and Kerala. In West Bengal Left Front made an electoral understanding with the Congress in an attempt to return to power in the state which it has ruled for more than 30 years. In Kerala CPIM hopes to come to power riding on the anti incumbency against the Congress led UDF rule. Kerala has the history of alternating power between two traditional rivals
In Tamil Nadu, opinion polls suggest the AIADMK will retain power, though DMK claims otherwise. Popular actor Vijakanth led People’s Welfare Front which includes left parties is trying to make their impact in a state where the Dravidian parties have dominated for last several decades.
The last leg of poll campaign saw an unprecedented number of national leaders, including prime minister Modi, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi beelining to canvass for their respective parties.
BJP is pinning their hopes in Assam, where it takes on Congress which has been in power for the last 15 years. Migration issue was the most important issue during the electioneering.
After Narendra Modi became prime minister, BJP has lost two important assembly elections, in Delhi and Bihar. If the party fails to win Assam, and does not make any impact in Kerala, then that would be big set back for the party before next years Uttar Pradesh election.