New Delhi | Jagran Politics Desk: As the ruling parties - Trinamool Congress, BJP and LDF - were set to retain power in West Bengal, Assam and Kerala respectively, the Congress continued with a poor poll performance as it lost high-stakes battle in all five states. 

For the party that has been witnessing poll debacles one after another since 2014, the biggest shock was Kerala where it was set to lose at the hands of the LDF as the latter created history by winning second time in a row. 

The Kerala setback is significant as party leader Rahul Gandhi is MP from Wayanad and his close lieutenant K.C. Venugopal also hails from the same state. 

In Puducherry also, the NDA was significantly ahead of the Congress, according to the early trends. The only solace for the Congress is Tamil Nadu where the alliance is set to sail through, but the Congress is a junior partner.

The Grand Old Party faced similar embarassment in Assam where the BJP-led NDA was set to retain power as it led on 81 of the 126 assembly seats. The Grand Alliance spearheaded by the Congress remained a distant second with 45 seats in its kitty. 

As votes were counted for the assembly polls in four states and one union territory with strict Covid protocols in place, trends indicated that Tamil Nadu's ruling AIADMK could cede power to arch rival DMK. In Puducherry, the AINRC-led NDA was headed towards power.

The cynosure of the elections, held over March and April as the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic picked up pace to finally ravage large parts of the country, was the high-stakes, acrimonious contest in West Bengal where the Mamata Banerjee-led TMC looked set for a convincing win against the BJP.

In southern Kerala, Left-led alliance LDF was poised for a another term in power power, the first time in four decades that the same grouping could form government for the second consecutive time. The two main constituents of the LDF, the CPI(M) and the CPI, were together leading in 71 seats, the magic number for power in the 140-member assembly.

In good news for the BJP, it was ahead in three seats in Kerala and four in Tamil Nadu, its efforts to make an electoral dent in the two southern states bearing fruit. Neighbouring Tamil Nadu could, however, break the trend of ruling parties returning to power.

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta