Written by Aahana Garg, a grade 10 student.
An aggregate of 824 assembly constituencies have gone for polls during the 2021 Assembly Elections. 18.68 crore electors are casting their vote at 2.7 lakh polling stations in Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Kerala, Assam, and Puducherry.
During the elections, a record seizure of Rs. 947.98 crore has been made from the four states and Puducherry. According to the Election Commission data, the amount of cash and other items seized during the elections is over four times the total seizure of Rs 225.77 crore in 2016.
A stupendous high voter turnout was recorded in the states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Puducherry.
The Election Commission on 9th April announced that the results of these Assembly Elections will be set forth on 2nd May.
The Kerala state assembly election witnessed a 74.02% voter turnout, even as minor skirmishes and allegations of bogus voting were reported from some of the constituencies.
The state has seen power rotation between the Communist-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) and the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) every election. However, for a change, it is expected that the ruling LDF will retain powers in this election, a novelty in the last four decades.
The instantaneous surge in COVID-19 cases in the country played a crucial role in the elections. The Election Commission had banned the years-long practice of campaigning, ‘Kottikalasham’ in the wake of the virus spread in the state. ‘Kottikalasham’ typically involves party workers engaging in noisy revelry to mark the culmination of a high-voltage campaign.
Bike rallies as part of the election campaigning had been completely banned since midnight. Distribution of free food kits or any other gift amounted to influence voters, also were not allowed till the polls, official sources in Kerala said.
The sixteenth legislative assembly election of Tamil Nadu was held on Tuesday, April 6, 2021. The state election also saw an astonishingly high voter turnout of above 80% in spite of the Covid-19 situation.
Tamil Nadu’s politics for the last 50 years has been dominated by the state’s two paramount parties, DMK and AIADMK. The BJP will contest as an NDA partner with the AIADMK on 25 assembly seats. The Congress has sealed the deal with DMK and will also contest on 25 assembly seats. History has seen rotation of power between these two parties. However, in the Tamil Nadu assembly election 2021, both key political parties have seen a change in their leadership due to the death of their two saliant leaders, Jayalalithaa and Karunanidhi.
The fifteenth Legislative Assembly Election was also held on 6 April 2021 to elect members from 30 constituencies of the Legislative Assembly in the Union Territory. The combined voter turnout this year was extremely high at a whopping 81.88%.
In the Union Territory, where the Narayansamy government was pulled down in February, there are primarily two fronts – the one led by the Congress and the All India NR Congress, where BJP is, for the first time, part of an alliance led by a regional party. The Congress party’s election manifesto provides for a push for Statehood status for Puducherry, the inclusion of the UT in the 15th Central Finance Commission, and waiver of legacy loans.
Elections to the Legislative Assembly of West Bengal for 294 constituencies are being held between 27th March and 29th April 2021. The campaigning has seen high pitched war of words between the ruling Trinamool Congress and the resurgent Bhartiya Janata Party. These two parties have emerged as the pivotal players in the election while others, the Congress and Communist Parties, CPI and CPM, have become marginal players
The Election Commission imposed a 24-hour ban on campaigning by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for her “highly insinuating” and “provocative remarks” that the poll regulating body described as having “serious potential” to lead to a breakdown of law and order during elections. Protesting against this order, Banerjee had decided to sit on a dharna for 24 hours.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while addressing a rally in West Bengal’s Bardhaman district ahead of the fifth phase of polls, asked Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee not to disrespect the central forces guarding people at polling booths by levelling baseless allegations. This happened after Banerjee had accused the CISF of killing four people in Cooch Behar district during the fourth phase of polling, terming the incident as a “genocide”.