Friday’s five assembly poll results will end the suspense about who will get to rule which state, but at the same time will throw up several questions that are yet to be answered.
In the five states — Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Puducherry, Assam and West Bengal — two parties seem to be at a crossroads.
The Left that has ruled Bengal for 34 years faces a big challenge from the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress-Congress combine’s war cry for ‘poribartan’ (change).
In Kerala, where the Left is in power for the last five years, the big question is whether it can buck the trend of a change every five years.
Also, the DMK — a key partner in the UPA and caught in the 2G scam — is looking desperately for a win to save face, especially after the telecom scam that engulfed party boss M Karunanidhi’s family.
If The DMK retains power, the state will see the first-ever coalition government. And for AIADMK’s Jayalalithaa, a victory means return to power after five years.
In Assam, the Congress is seeking a third term under chief minister Tarun Gogoi. But if it fails to win a clear majority, smaller groups like Bodoland People’s Front and AIUDF may play kingmakers. Also, the AGP and BJP are hoping to play major roles in a hung house.
Besides these assembly results, the future of two southern chief ministers — BS Yeddyurappa of Karnataka and Kiran Kumar Reddy of Andhra Pradesh — are dependent on the outcomes of by-polls.
Facing sleaze charges, BSY is under pressure to show that the BJP is still ahead in the popularity race, while Reddy faces a serious challenge from rebel YS Jaganmohan Reddy, who quit the Congress to contest on his own from his home turf, Kadapa.