India on Sunday has started to count the Assembly Election-2021 votes in five states from elections held in March and early April, with results to be announced once the tallies are done.
Amid the surge in Covid-19 cases that has overwhelmed the country's healthcare system, these state election results are seen as a test of the impact the devastating second wave of the pandemic is having on support for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his right-wing BJP party.
The counting of votes in Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry is being conducted amid tight security in view of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) and the results are expected to start rolling out after 5 pm.
The high-octane election campaign in these states was followed by voting that was spread out over a month. West Bengal voted in eight phases, starting March 27 and ending on April 29, while Assam voted in three. Elections in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry were held in a single phase on April 6.
BJP in West Bengal is contesting to wrestle the power out of the hands of three-time chief minister Mamata Banerjee. Assam is seeing a contest between the ruling BJP and a grand alliance of eight opposition parties including Congress, the AIUDF and the Bodoland People's Front.
In Tamil Nadu, the incumbent All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) has gone up against MK Stalin's Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) while the battle for Kerala prominently features LDF and the Congress-led UDF.
The alliance of All India NR Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is up against the Congress-led alliance in Puducherry.
Here is how some of India's biggest media outlets have been covering the election halfway through the day till 1 pm.
As Mamata Banerjee looks set to win a third term in Bengal in a very close fight between the ruling Trinamool Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the HT lead has been covering live West Bengal Assembly Election result updates: Bengal results live: Mamata's TMC heads towards victory, leads in over 200 seats
Besides, election results of all five other states are covered separately: Election Results 2021 LIVE: TMC, LDF, DMK ahead; BJP leads in Assam, Puducherry
NDTV, a popular Indian news network has called it a victory for Trinamool in West Bengal. Their banner headline says: Super Victory For Trinamool; DMK Wins; Left In Kerala; BJP In Assam.
The Indian Express
Indian Express called it a game over for BJP as they wrote: Didi shows Game Over.
"Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress has crossed the halfway mark in West Bengal, where the BJP seems to have made substantial gains since the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Trinamool Congress is leading in over 200 seats while the BJP is ahead in over 70 seats."
Popular bangle newspaper Anandabazar predicted the return of Mamata Banerjee to power, calling it "Didi-e firchen".
Broadcast media ABP telecasted the live updates of the election results for all five states separately.
In a common headline it says: Assembly Election Live Results 2021: Mamata Trails In Nandigram, Sonowal Confident Of Victory, LDF Likely To Make A Comeback