Election officials are going to have a busy day on Tuesday as 475 legislative constituencies across four states - Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Assam and West Bengal - and the union territory of Puducherry go to polls. Today will see voting for 234 seats of Tamil Nadu Assembly, 140 seats of Kerala Assembly, 40 constituencies in Assam, 31 seats of West Bengal Assembly and 30 seats of Puducherry Assembly. While West Bengal and Assam will observe the third phase of their state assembly elections today, the rest will conduct their assembly elections in a single phase. High-octane election campaign has come to an end in these states and union territory, with electorates set to elect their representatives. Along with this, by-election will be held on two Lok Sabha seats - Malappuram and Kanyakumari - today. Here's a look at the key constituencies, biggest contenders and political scenarios that will be in play on Tuesday.
Tamil Nadu is one of the biggest electoral hotspots on Tuesday, with DMK trying its best to dethrone AIADMK's ten-year-old regime in the state, while the latter is vying to secure a third term in a row. Experts have called this election a cornerstone for the future of both parties.
AIADMK is contesting as a part of NDA along with BJP, PMK and other local parties, whereas DMK is part of the UPA and is contesting alongside Congress and 11 other parties. Kamal Hassan's Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) and TTV Dhinakaran's Amma Makala Munnetra Kazagam (AMMK) are contesting Tamil Nadu polls in alliance with some regional parties.
Key contenders in the poll fray in Tamil Nadu include heavyweights like CM K Palaniswami, Deputy CM O Panneerselvam, DMK supremo MK Stalin, AMMK founder TTV Dhinakaran, actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan, Naam Tamizhar Katchi leader Seeman and BJP state unit chief L Murugan.
The constituencies that will be in the limelight are Edappadi, Kolathur, Coimbatore (South), Aravakurichi, Bodinayakanur, Chepauk-Thiruvallikeni and Thousand Lights.
More than 6.28 crore voters will choose 234 legislative assembly representatives from 3,998 candidates contesting this time in the Tamil Nadu Assembly elections.
It will be a heated contest between CPI (M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) and Congress-headed United Democratic Front (UDF) in Kerala. Meanwhile, BJP is trying to gain a foothold in the state and has fielded some high-profile contestants. All three factions have given their all to secure a win in the state assembly elections.
The big names in the Kerala poll fray this year are Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, health minister KK Shailaja, Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran, Power Minister MM Mani, Higher Education Minister KK Jaleel, Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala, former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, senior leaders K Muraleedharan, PT Thomas and Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan. On the other, BJP will rely on former Mizoram Governor Kummanam Rajasekharan, 'Metroman' E Sreedharan, state party chief K Surendran, senior leader Shobha Surendran, Rajya Sabha members Suresh Gopi and KJ Alphons, to make a dent in the red bastion.
Dharmadam, Manjeshwaram, Palakkad, Mattanur, Puthuppally, Kanhangad and Irinjalakuda are the key constituencies to look out for.
Over 2.74 crore voters will cast their ballots for electing the next 140 members to the Kerala Assembly from 957 candidates.
Assam will hold the third and final phase of 2021 assembly elections on Tuesday for 40 seats. A total of 337 candidates are in the poll fray in this phase.
Congress is in the ring with its 'Mahajoth' or 'Grand Alliance' comprising itself, AIUDF, Bodoland Peoples' Front (BPF), CPI (M), CPI, CPI (ML) Liberation, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Anchalik Gana Morcha (AGM). BJP is contesting alongside Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and the United People's Party Liberal (UPPL). Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP) and jailed activist Akhil Gogoi's Raijor Dal (RD) are also notable parties in the contest.
BJP's Himanta Biswa Sarma, state BJP chief Ranjeet Kumar Dass, Kokrajhar MP Naba Sarania, Phanibhushan Choudhury and Singer Kalpana Patowary from AGP, Chandra Mohan Patowary, Siddhartha Bhattacharya, and Pramila Rani Brahma are the biggest names in this phase. Fate of 20 sitting MLAs - eight from the Congress, five from the BJP, three each from the AIUDF and BPF and one from AGP - also hangs in the balance in the last phase of Assam assembly elections 2021.
Jalukbari, Dharampur, Gauhati (East), Bongaigaon, Patacharkuchi, Kokrajhar (East), Barama, Sarukhetri and Dispur are the key constituencies in this phase.
The no-holds-barred electoral contest in West Bengal will enter its third phase on Tuesday. Most of the 31 seats that are going to polls today are Trinamool bastions. This phase will see polling in parts of rural Howrah, the Sunderban region, the Diamond Harbour and Baruipur belts in the South 24 Parganas, and parts of the Hooghly district.
Among key candidates in this phase from BJP are former MP Swapan Dasgupta, Santanu Bapuli, Tusar Majumdar and Debtanu Bhattacharya, CPI (M) heavyweight Kanti Ganguly, Trinamool Congress's Aloke Jaldata, Rajib Banerjee and Sukanta Kumar Paul, as well as Congress' Asit Mitra and Anirban Saha.
Key contests are expected to unfold in Tarakeswar, Dhanekhali, Shyampur, Raidighi and Basanti seats.
A total of 78,52,425 electorates will choose from 205 candidates MLAs for31 seats in the Bengal Assembly.
Tuesday will see over 10 lakh eligible voters exercising their franchise for all 30 seats of Puducherry Assembly. The union territory is under the President's rule as V Narayanasamy-led Congress government lost a trust vote shortly after being elected to power.
It is a head-on contest between NDA and UPA in Puducherry. Among the NDA constituents, N Rangasamy's All India NR Congress is contesting 16 seats, the BJP nine and AIADMK four. On the UPA front, Congress has fielded candidates in 14 seats and supporting an independent candidate in one seat, while DMK is contesting on 13 seats.
Major names in the fray include AINRC leader N Rangasamy, Congress state chief A V Subramanian, AIADMK leaders A Anbalagan and Om Sakthi Segar.
(Edited by Vivek Punj)
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