The official results for the high-stakes assembly elections held in four states and one Union Territory are almost out now for the majority of the constituencies and barring West Bengal, the predictions of exit polls remained more or less close to the actual results and trends in Assam, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry.
As per the available trends and results on the Election Commission of India’s website on Monday (May 3, 2021) morning, the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress (TMC) has retained power in West Bengal for the third consecutive time, whereas, the Left Democratic Front (LDF) headed by Pinarayi Vijayan has made the first re-election in 44 years. In Tamil Nadu, MK Stalin’s Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) has dethroned incumbent Edappadi K Palaniswami’s All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), while the Bharatiya Janata Party-led alliances (BJP) have won in Assam and Puducherry.
TMC retains West Bengal again
The battleground of West Bengal was considered to be the most important one and as the exit polls suggested, people were expecting a close fight between the ruling Trinamool Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party. However, Mamata Banerjee’s ‘Khela Hobe’ in the West Bengal Assembly election 2021 showed why she is one of the indomitable fighters. According to the available trends and results, the Trinamool Congress won way more seats than the halfway mark. They have so far won 209 seats and are leading in 4, out of the 292 assembly constituencies. The Bharatiya Janata Party which did intense campaigning considering its overwhelming result in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, couldn’t touch the double-digit. The saffron party won 76 seats and is leading in one.
LDF makes remarkable comeback
Pinarayi Vijayan’s Left Democratic Front has scripted history by winning the Kerala Assembly election 2021. The LDF broke Kerala’s record of voting out every incumbent government for the past four decades and made the first re-election in over 44 years.
In the 140-member Assembly, the LDF’s final tally was the Communist Party of India-Marxist 62, the Communist Party of India 17, the Kerala Congress-Mani five, the Janata Dal-Secular and the Nationalist Congress Party two each and the Loktantrik Janta Dal, the Indian National League, Congress-Secular, the Revolutionary Socialist Party-L and Kerala Congress-B one each.
DMK wins Tamil Nadu
MK Stalin’s DMK has won 112 seats and is leading in 20, according to the latest results and trends on the Election Commission of India website for the 234-seat assembly. AIADMK took 61 seats and is ahead in 6 seats, whereas, the Bharatiya Janata Party won 3 and is leading in 1 seat.
Congress, a DMK ally, also won 15 and is currently leading in 3 seats. DMK’s other allies CPI and CPI (M) have won two seat each, while the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) has won four seats.
Lotus blooms in Assam and Puducherry
In Assam, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party-led alliance won 75 seats of the total 126 assembly constituencies. As per the official result, the saffron party bagged 60 seats, while allies Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and United People’s Party, Liberal (UPPL) bagged nine and six seats respectively. Congress could only win 25 seats and All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) won 16 seats.
On the other hand, in Puducherry, the NR Congress, BJP and AIADMK alliance emerged victorious in the 30-seat assembly. The All India NR Congress secured 10 seats, while the BJP won six. Congress managed to get two seats, while DMK secured six seats and the independent candidates bagged six seats.
COVID third phase inevitable, prepare for new waves: Centre’s top scientific advisor
A third phase of the deadly novel coronavirus pandemic is inevitable, claimed K Vijay Raghavan, the Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India on Wednesday (May 5).
Addressing a press conference, Raghavan said, “A third wave is almost inevitable given the higher levels of circulating virus in the country. However, it is not clear on what time scale this phase three will occur. We should prepare for new waves,” said.
Shedding light on the transmission of the new strains of the infection he said, “Variants are transmitted same as original strain. It doesn’t have properties of new kinds of transmission. It infects humans in a manner that makes it more transmissible as it gains entry, makes more copies and goes on, same as original.”
Raghavan asserted that the vaccines are effective against the new COVID-19 strains as well. “Vaccines are effective against current variants. New variants will arise all over the world and in India too but variants that increase transmission will likely plateau. Immune evasive variants and those which lower or increase disease severity will arise going ahead.”
Further, he said, “Scientists of India and all over world are working to anticipate these kinds of variants and act against them rapidly by early warning and developing modified tools. It’s an intense research program, happening in India and abroad.”
Schools Must Reduce Fees As On-campus Facilities remain Closed
The Supreme Court on Tuesday made an observation that will be applicable to schools, colleges and other educational institutes. The Supreme Court bench led by Justice Khanwilkar asked the schools and educational institutions which are closed for more than a year and will remain closed till further orders to reduce the fees as their running and overhead costs of maintenance, electricity, petrol/diesel to run generators, water cost, stationery charges have come down with online classes.
The parents, who are demanding a cut in fees, told the bench that the schools have saved a colossal amount of money during the online classes towards electricity charges, water charges, stationery charges and other miscellaneous charges which are required for the physical running of the school.
Granting relief to the parents the court said “the fees would have been refixed by the regulation authority but decided to pass an order for 15 per cent cut to settle the issue once and for all.
The court also directed the schools not to prevent any student from attending online classes or offline classes on account of non-payment of fees or outstanding fees.
India registers over 3.82 lakh new COVID-19 cases, 3,780 deaths
India registered 3,82,315 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, said the union health ministry on Wednesday morning. With this, the cumulative count of the cases has gone up to 2,06,65,148.
The daily spike had reached its peak of over four lakh cases on May 1 but came down to 3,57,229 cases yesterday.
As many as 3,780 people succumbed to the disease in the country in the last 24 hours, taking the cumulative death toll to 2,26,188.
As per the government data, a present there are 34,87,229 active cases of COVID-19 in the country.
The country also witnessed as many as 3,38,439 recoveries taking the cumulative recoveries to 1,69,51,731.
According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), as many as 29,48,52,078 samples have been tested for COVID-19 up to May 3 of which 15,41,299 samples were tested on Tuesday.
The total doses of the COVID-19 vaccine administered stand at over 16,04,94,188, informed the health ministry.
India is currently dealing with a devastating second Covid-19 wave that has swept through the nation, crushing the country’s health infrastructure and overburdening frontline medical workers.
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