The opposition DMK-Congress alliance was heading for a big win in the 234-member Tamil Nadu assembly, according to polls results.
Till filing this report, the DMK and its allies were leading in 149 seats including Congresses 16. The ruling AIADMK was leading in 85 seats including its alliance partners PMK and BJP (3). The majority mark stands at 118.
The DMK has not been in power in the state for a decade, and this time the party and the AIADMK are contesting without their towering leaders, J Jayalalithaa and M Karunanidhi whose deaths have brought a huge change in the political landscape.
Tamil Nadu's most iconic leaders J Jayalalithaa died in 2016, and M Karunanidhi in 2018. Their absence has left a huge political vacuum that many have raced to fill.
"This has been an unprecedented election because of the pandemic. We are watching closely and frankly expected to perform better than what we are seeing so far," DMK's Manu Sundaram told NDTV.
"The people saw this election as a choice between the BJP and BJP-controlled alliances and that of the DMK, which stands to oppose the BJP and its ideology," he added.
The ruling CPI(M)-led LDF is set for a historic return to power, trends from the Election Commission at 6:00 pm show. Out of the 140 Assembly seats, the LDF is currently leading in 97 seats out of which it has won many. The Opposition UDF, which won 47 seats, is down by four seats. The BJP, which had one seat in the outgoing Assembly, is not likely to have an MLA in the Assembly.
By getting re-elected, the LDF is all set to make history by becoming the first state government in Kerala in the last 40 years to buck the trend of the state unseating an incumbent government in every five years. In the assembly elections in 2016, the LDF had bagged 91 seats.