Patnaik's gamble pays off
Anti-incumbency is fast losing relevance as an election factor in India, it would seem from the results.
Besides the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance coming back with a clear mandate in the Lok Sabha, in the three state assembly elections held alongside the general election saw incumbent chief minister's winning -- sometimes against stacked odds.
In Orissa, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik's Biju Janata Dal went it alone, breaking away from the Bharatiya Party.
The result: the BJD looks set to sweep the assembly elections.
BJD candidates were leading in 101 of the state's 147 assembly constituencies. The Congress and the BJP were ahead in 30 and 10 respectively.
In the Lok Sabha constituencies in the state too, the BJD was leading in 14, the Congress was leading in six the Communist Party of India in one seat.
The Bharatiya Janata Party appears to be faring poorly with its candidates leading in none of the Lok Sabha seats.
Image: Naveen Patnaik
YSR beats Naidu, Chiru
In Andhra Pradesh, Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy too seemed to be heading for a second term. By noon, his Congress had won 27 seats and was ahead in 115 of the 294 assembly constituencies. The party needs 148 for a simple majority.
This, despite being pitted against grand four-party alliance led by the Telugu Desam Party. The four had won 20 seats and were leading in 102 more.
Telugu movie superstar-turned-politician Chiranjeevi's Praja Rajyam Party had got two seats and was ahead in 18. The others, including the BJP, won two seats and were ahead in 14.
If the Congress -- which can hope for some addition in the seat kitty from the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen -- retains power, it will be a first for the grand old party in the state since 1982, when the TDP was formed.
Image: Y S Rajasekhara Reddy
Chamling reigns over Sikkim
In Sikkim, Chief Minister Pawan Chamling -- who joined politics in 1973, who was fist elected to the state assembly in 1985 and whose website declares him to be a 'prolific writer, poet and thinker' -- looked set for a fourth term.
The ruling Sikkim Democratic Front is heading towards a clean sweep of all 32 assembly seats in Sikkim winning 12 seats and leading in 20 others. Chamling has led his party's surge towards a fourth consecutive term in power winning both seats he contested -- Poklok-Kamrang and Namchi-Singhithang - in South Sikkim. The ruling party is leading in the remaining 20 assembly constituencies.
SDF Lok Sabha candidate P D Rai is leading over his nearest Congress rival KN Upreti by over 32,000 votes.
Chamling has been heading the mountain state since December 12, 1994.
Image: Pawan Chamling