Marxists retain West Bengal, regain Kerala

Thursday, May 11, 2006 Marxists retained West Bengal and regained Kerala in assembly elections in 5 Indian states whose results were declared today. Tamil Nadu is likely to have its first coalition government headed by DMK's leader M Karunanidhi. Assam faces a hung assembly, while the Congress-led Front won overwhelmingly in Pondicherry

The Left Front, led by the Communist Party of India (Marxist), won 235 out of the total 294 assembly seats in West Bengal. West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee has scored a thumping victory in Jadavpur, winning by a margin of over 58,000 votes.

"It is our victory. All credit goes to the people," Bhattacharjee told reporters.

Veteran CPI(M) leader and previous Chief Minister Jyoti Basu hailed the ruling Left Front's "march to power" in West Bengal for the seventh successive term as "unprecedented in parliamentary history". Basu was Chief Minister of West Bengal from 1977 to 2000.

Tamil Nadu is likely to have its first coalition government headed by DMK leader M Karunanidhi after Chief Minister Jayalalithaa is voted out of power. The DMK-led front won in 162 out of 230 assembly seats in Tamil Nadu. And for the fifth time, DMK chief M Karunanidhi is all set to become the chief minister of the state.

In Kerala, The Left Democratic Front was victorious in 98 seats out of 140 constituencies. The UDF, which came to power last time with 99 seats, won only 41 seats.

Assam is heading for a hung assembly, whereas in Pondicherry, a Union Territory of India, Indian National Congress-led Front won 20 of 30 seats.