Chennai/Thiruvananthapuram/Puducherry, May 2 (PTI) Non- BJP parties looked set to form governments in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, with the DMK making a comeback in the former and the ruling CPI(M) further asserting its hold in Kerala, while the AINRC-led NDA was on course to form government in Puducherry.
Counting of votes polled in the two states and the UT was underway on Sunday.
Ending its decade long stint in the opposition, even relegated to the third spot in the House in 2011, the M K Stalin-led party made a spirited comeback to the ruling saddle to unseat its rival AIADMK.
The CPI(M)-led LDF set a new record by retaining power in Kerala, a state known for alternating between the Left bloc and Congress-led UDF once in five years.
Losing its lone seat held in these five years in Kerala, Nemom, the BJP also witnessed the defeat of India's 'Metroman' E Sreedharan to a much younger Congress candidate.
BJP could take solace from the fact that it put up a fairly decent show in Tamil Nadu, a state where the saffron party is yet to make major gains, and was leading in six in neighbouring Puducherry where it could well be part of the AINRC-led NDA government.
Stalin, the 68-year old DMK president is all set to become Chief Minister for the first time, even as his son and party's youth wing chief Udhayanidhi came up trumps in his maiden electoral venture.
As counting of votes polled in the April 6 TN Assembly election progressed on Sunday, it became amply clear that the DMK was dislodging AIADMK from the seat of power with ease.
Round after round,DMK and its allies improved their tally and the Stalin-led party together with its partners, appeared winning at least 155 seats in the 234-member Assembly, while 118 is the minimum number required for a simple majority.
The Election Commission is yet to declare winners for all the 234 segments and also complete data on winning margins was not available, till 10 pm, Sunday.
The DMK's vote share was 37.7 per cent with an impressive performance in regions, including southern and northern regions while the AIADMK sliced away 33.4 per cent and also demonstrated that the Kongu belt of Coimbatore was still its bastion.
DMK is poised to win at least 131 seats and several of its allies like Vaiko-led MDMK and Tamizhaga Vazhvurimai Katchi leader Velmurugan contested on the 'Rising Sun' symbol of the party.
AIADMK, as per trends, is set to emerge victorious in 69 seats and its allies, PMK and BJP were ahead in four segments each, and the combine may touch the 77-seat mark.
The top two AIADMK leaders, outgoing Chief Minister K Palaniswami and Deputy CM O Panneerselvam romped home from their respective segments of Edappadi (Salem district) and Bodinayakanur (Theni).
AIADMK twitter handle said the CM won by a margin of '92,868 votes' trouncing his DMK rival T Sambath Kumar,and the margin appeared to be the biggest in the state.
In Kerala, the Left's show seemed to be an endorsement of CM Pinarayi Vijayan, who had to weather storm after storm such as the Sabarimala women's entry issue, natural calamities and the COVID-19 pandemic over the years.
The ruling LDF seems to be heading for a second consecutive term as it has won 70 of the 140 seats and was leading in another 29 segments, according to the Election Commission.
This is the first time in over 40 years that an elected government is retaining power in Kerala, bucking the trend of swinging between communists and the Congress led UDF.
The UDF has won 32 seats and is leading in nine, while BJP has failed to win any seats.
Besides Vijayan, his cabinet colleagues K K Shailaja, M M Mani, A C Moideen, Kadakampally Surendran, Kadannappally Ramachandran, K Krishnankutty, T P Ramakrishnan and K Chandrasekharan also won.
The prominent losers were former Union minister K J Alphons, Sreedharan, K Surendran, Kummanam Rajashekharan, Rajya Sabha MP and actor Suresh Gopi, M V Shreyams Kumar, K Muraleedharan, V T Balaram, Padmaja Venugopal and K M Shaji.
The LDF camp suffered a blow when Jose K Mani, Kerala Congress (M) leader, lost in Pala to sitting MLA Mani C Kappan of the UDF.
In Puducherry UT, the AINRC-led NDA looked all set to capture power by winning 16 of the 30 assembly seats.
Sixteen seats are required for a simple majority in the 30-member assembly. PTI CORR LGK UD VGN SA BN APR ADMINISTRATOR APR ADMINISTRATOR