07: 00 pm: A round-up of the day's events: Tarun Gogoi-led Congress swept the polls bagging a near two-thirds majority to retain power in Assam, making it a straightforward result right from the onset. And Gogoi is expected to take up the position as CM for the third-time in a row.
In Bengal, Mamata-led TMC broke the Red fortress with a landslide victory, marking an end to a three-decade long rule under the Left. Many analysts say that a 'call for change' led to the ousting of the Left government in Bengal. Many questions still remain over debutant CM Mamata's political agenda, but only time will tell if she lives up to the expectations of the people. So far, to her credit, she has remained humble despite winning by huge margins against a government that had made its dominance felt for over 30 years.
The counting is complete. The results are clear. That's it for this live update.
Follow the day's significant events below:
06: 45 pm: Sonia to decide on Congress joining Didi's cabinet: UPA and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi will take the final call on Congress joining the new government in Bengal after discussing with TMC chief Mamata.
06: 25 pm: Biman Bose forced to eat his words: CPI(M) Biman Bose who had earlier reacted strongly against the exit polls suggesting a landslide victory for TMC was forced to swallow his pride today.
Yesterday, Bose said, "Tomorrow, the media would have to lick the spit that they have hurled at us," referring to the exit polls predictions. "Those who have conducted exit polls after receiving contract money will realise how foolish they were; all are fools; exit polls are bogus,' he had said.
Today, Bose said, "The results are unexpected. The Left Front humbly accepted the verdict of the people and promised to play the role of a responsible and constructive opposition in the assembly."
The people voted for change, he echoed.
06: 00 pm: Mamata is expected to meet Governor M K Narayanan at 6:30 pm to stake claim to form government.
05: 30 pm: The new opposition, Left Front has vowed to support Mamata in all her positive initiatives, but felt negative perception by people cost them the elections this year.
Meanwhile as we reported earlier, Mamata has invited Congress and its other allies to join her government. The TMC chief called upon the Socialist Unity Centre of India (SUCI) to join her government along with her main ally Congress.
05: 15 pm: Telltale pictures: Gogoi celebrates | 'Second independence day' | Celebrations galore
05: 05 pm: With the Trinamool Congress set to form the government in West Bengal after sweeping the assembly polls, here is a look at the men who could play key roles in would-be CM Mamata's team
05: 00 pm: Taslima takes a jab at Buddhadeb on Twitter: Controversial writer of Bangladeshi origin Taslima Nasreen has heaped praise for Mamata and posted sarcastic tweets on the dismal performance of West Bengal's Left Front in the assembly elections, asking how former CM Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee could lose when he threw her out of the state 'to get Muslim votes'.
'How come Buddhadeb Bhattacharya (Bhattacharjee) is losing! He threw me out of West Bengal to get Muslim-votes! Ah, still a nightmare! (sic),' Nasreen tweeted.
04: 50 pm: 'Emancipation of Bengal': Modest Mamata also took a rare jab at the Left Front by suggesting that her historic win is like a 'second independence day' for Bengal.
04: 45 pm: Finance minister and Congress head Pranab Mukherjee took a jab at the Left Front today. "The people of Bengal have given their verdict clearly in favour of Mamata. They have voted for stability and change. Some parties were destabilising the union government," he said.
04: 40 pm: Buddhadeb loses Jadavpur by over 16,000 votes: Former West Bengal CM Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee has lost his Jadavpur seat by more than 16,000 votes to TMC candidate Manish Gupta, news reports say.
04: 30 pm: Gogoi hat-trick: Assam CM Tarun Gogoi has won with a margin of 6000 votes from his home constituency of Titabor in Jorhat district defeating a rival AGP candidate. Gogoi is set to return to power for the third consecutive term after leading comfortably in 75 constituencies in the 126-seat Assembly.
He thanked the people for the victory. "The people were by and large satisfied with our work and mostly women, youths and the educated people were enthusiastic and supported us to win," he said.
Asked about the 'mantra' for his party's victory for the third consecutive term under him, the chief minister replied, "there is no mantra. People understood our commitment and sincerity to work for them. Inspite of propaganda by the opposition parties and some organisations such as the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS), the people were not swayed but remained faithful to our commitment to them. We are very grateful to the people for believing in us and not the opposition propaganda".
04: 20 pm: 'TMC beneficiaries of peoples' need for change': CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury has said that the defeat of the Left Front in West Bengal is because the "people opted for a change".
"The people have opted for a change and the main beneficiary of the change has been the Trinamool Congress," Yechury said.
04: 00 pm: CPI(M)'s star campaigner and West Bengal Housing minister Gautam Deb on Friday conceded that Mamata Banerjee's fight for land and farmers had been endorsed by the people.
Deb, who submitted "documents" to the Election Commission in support of his charges of use of blackmoney by the Trinamool Congress in its election expenses during the phased election, said he would like to extend wishes to Mamata Banerjee.
"The blackmoney does not matter. People wanted a change," he said.
"I wish her all success for the development of Bengal. We bow our head. We will cooperate with her," Deb told a TV channel.
03: 30 pm: PC reacts to Congress and its ally wins in Assam and Bengal: Home minister P Chidambaram has spoken of his delight in the poll results. "I am truly delighted by the massive victory recorded by the TMC-Congress alliance in West Bengal and the Congress party in Assam. In West Bengal, it was the expected vote for comprehensive change. In Assam, it was the expected vote for continuity. In both states our alliance pledged to work for inclusive growth, providing security to all the people, and working for peace and harmony".
03: 15 pm: Mamata on NDTV dismissed suggestions that Trinamool would completely ignore its ally Congress once it takes office soon. She said the allies would be very much part of her government. The TMC is still expected to retain the railway portfolio, even if Mamata becomes CM.
03: 00 pm: It's ironic that an issue related to the world's cheapest car would tilt the polls in her favour as Mamata first earned fame - or rather some infamy - for her protest before a car (she allegedly danced on the bonnet) of socialist leader Jayprakash Narayan. From a car dance to Chief Ministership, Mamata has come far.
02: 30 pm: 'Mamata in for change, not revenge': Union Minister and Trinamool Congress MP Dinesh Trivedi has said that Mamata's political ideology has always been about peace and development and progress of the state. "Her motto has been change and not revenge... in fact it has been a vote against violence of the CPM," the Union minister said.
His statement was in reaction to CPI(M) MP Md Salim's earlier statement expressing fears of violence emerging post the result.
02: 15 pm: Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has called in to congratulate Mamata on her historic win.
Speaking on it, Mamata said: "I told her that our relations have existed since the time of Bangabandhu (Mujibur Rahman) and told her that we will work together for betterment. I also quoted from Rabindranath Tagore's Amar Sonar Bangla Ami Tomay Bhalobashi and told her that both Bangladesh and West Bengal will flourish together."
02: 00 pm: The number 13 appears to be a lucky charm for TMC. The party is set to assume power in West Bengal 13 years after its formation. Mamata had founded the All India Trinamool Congress in January 1998.
01:45 pm: West Bengal Finance Minister Asim Dasgupta lost the elections from Khardah to Trinamool Congress candidate and FICCI boss and Padmashree Amit Mitra.
01: 35 pm: Have your say: What do you think of Didi's accomplishment? Do you think West Bengal would benefit from the new players? Congratulate Didi on her triumph.
01: 20 pm: Expelled CPI(M) leader and former Speaker Somnath Chatterjee said the party fared poorly as it was disconnected from the people of West Bengal and failed to understand their mood.
"Clearly there was some disconnection with the people and party leaders could not understand the mood of the people,"
Asked about the reasons for the Left's failure, he said, "Some mistakes were made and proper reviews were not made."
01: 10 pm: Congress looks set to win it all in Assam: AGP president Chandra Mohan Patowarwy has lost in Dharmapur to Congress candidate Nilamoni Send Deka.
01: 00 pm: Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, who is set to lose even his own seat in Jadavpur, submitted his resignation before the West Bengal governor. He drove out of Raj Bhavan at around 1-13 pm after putting in his papers, TV reports say.
12: 45 pm: Mamata invokes Tagore's ideals, says she has change in mind
12: 30 pm: Meanwhile, Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee has reached the Raj Bhavan. He is expected to hand over his resignation in a short while, anytime.
12: 20 pm: Today happens to be Friday the 13th -- one of the most dreaded days in the calendar -- and while it has proven to be "hard luck" for some men in the country, it has certainly turned out to be lucky for some women, namely Mamata, who has now been added to the list of women CMs in India.
12: 15 pm: Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee is trailing by 11650 votes in Jadavpur.
Left's first reaction to Mamata's achievement: The CPI-M leader Mohammad Selim said, "We will not rush our comments. We take lessons from everything. We will find out the causes, we will analyse and we will come up with comments.
"We are not here to give Breaking News like the media. That is our limitation. We will take our time to reply. We urge all to maintain peace. We want no violence," he said, adding that CPI-M will inform everything in a press conference.
Sitting in the opposition is not new for the Leftists, he added.
12: 00 pm: Making her first public appearance post her historic electoral victory, Mamata said the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (who is in Afghanistan right now) and Sonia Gandhi have already called to congratulate her. Praising the people, she says "it's a victory of the downtrodden, the ordinary people. Bengal has won new freedom after 34 years... We need patience... we dedicate this victory to every mother in this country."
Being as blunt as she has always been, Didi demanded silence from her supporters as they screamed her name. "Ektu chup korun (Please keep quiet)" she said as she asked people to "shanto hon (calm down)".
11: 45 am: Mamata on her party's success: "This is the victory of Ma, Maati and Manush (Mother, Soil and People). Let us remember the martyrs of three decades of struggle, we salute them. Let us remember the poor. We thank all the people with humility. This joy will bring happiness in Bengal".
She also thanked UPA and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi for her party's success.
11: 40 am: So far the exit poll predictions seem to be spot on for almost all states. The opinion polls had predicted a sweep for Mamata and Gogoi's government.
11: 35 am: West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee will resign as the chief minister at 2 pm, channel Star Ananda reports. He is trailing by thousands of votes in the Jadavpur seat.
11: 25 am: Still a railway minister, TMC chief Mamata has been described by many panelists as a "populist" politician who in a span of a little over a decade has effectively overthrown a Left government that has held power for over three decades now. And for a party (TMC) that was founded only in 1998, Mamata's achievement is seen as not only historic but hugely impressive.
But Mamata, popularly known for instigating many bandhs, has left some skeptics worried over her record as an administrator in the railway sector. Under her watch, the Railways had recorded over 200 accidents and 500 fatalities a year ago -- between May 2009 - July 2010.
The latest trends indicate that Mamata will now have her chance to prove her doubters wrong.
11: 15 am: Congress takes credit for Mamata's win saying the alliance has worked.
11: 00 am: Speaking on Mamata's expected victory, Kolkata Mayor Sovan Chatterjee and candidate of Behala Eest Constituency of Kolkata said:"This result was expected. Right from the Panchayat election the fight had started. Then the Lok Sabha and Corporation election took place and we witnessed people giving votes to the TMC and Congress alliance. It is Mamata Banerjee who has connected with the people and the common man has also shown great faith in her. The results have reflected this trend."
"After this victory I feel that our responsibilities have increased significantly and we have to fulfill their (the peoples') expectations."
"We have all worked collectively. We have been working as Mamata Banerjee had directed and the results are a reflection of her policies now," he added.
10: 50 am: Conceding defeat, the CPI minister Gurudas Dasgupta has said: "It's a people's mandate, and we respect the mandate."
10: 40 am: The TMC in Bengal and Congress in Assam are headed for a massive win in their respective states, latest trends show.
10: 30 am: West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharje is trailing by 2876 votes in Jadavpur seat of Kolkata, according to latest trends. Several other West Bengal ministers are also trailing behind.
Industry Minister Nirupam Sen and Finance Minister Asim Dasgupta are trailing by several thousand votes. Minister Kanti Ganguly and CPI-M stalwart Gautam Deb are also trailing behind.
10: 25 am: Contrasting streets: The Alimuddin Street headquarters of CPI-M, the controlling power of West Bengal for over three decades, is deserted. A few people were seen around the place. Alimuddin Street premises in central Kolkata is in contrast to the Kalighat house of Mamata Banerjeen south Kolkata.
10: 15 am: It is a victory for Ma, Mati, Manush (Mother, Soil and People), says an abir-smeared Kartik Bandopadhyay, brother of Mamata Banerjee standing in front-of her Kalighat house.
10: 05 am: Green is the colour of celebrations in West Bengal. Trinamool supporters have taken to the streets with green abir (coloured dust). Women and men smear each other with abir as they celebrate Mamata's triumph in the elections this year.
10:00 am: Left's leading channel 24 Ghanta calls the impending defeats of Left stalwarts as Indrapatan or fall of Indra the King. The left leaders present in the studios of Bengali channels are slowly conceding defeat. There is a new government coming, said a left leader in Star Ananda.
09:55 am: "Democracy is returning to Bengal after 34 years", shouted a Mamata party member. The anchors and experts in the studio of Star Ananda were all excited about the trends. Those defending the Left are being accused of putting up a weak defence as latest trends suggest a rout.
09: 45 am: Celebrations are already taking place in the Kalighat house of Mamata Banerjee and among her fans throughout the state. A fan has compared her leadership to that of Indian captain MS Dhoni, calling her "Captain Cool" as he praised her for ousting the Left government -- which looks almost imminent if trends are to go by.
Change has become the buzzword in West Bengal with trends of election results so far suggesting the TMC are all set to gain single majority and form a government with Mamata Banerjee as the chief minister, dislodging the 34-year-old regime of Left Front with a historic win.
Trends show Trinamool alone are leading in 156 seats while their ally Congress are leading in 32. Along with Congress, TMC is set to gain an absolute majority. The Left Front is leading in 63.
09: 40 am: The Congress looks set for another term in Assam as they lead in 37 seats. Tarun Gogoi looks set to lead the state for a third term. Rivals AGP are leading in 6 seats.
09: 30 am: All early trends indicate a landslide victory for the TMC as they lead in 137 seats, with the Left falling way short with 50 seats.
09: 15 am: Latest trends in Assam show the Congress are leading in 21 seats, AGP in 4, BJP in 2 and others in 11.
09: 05 am: West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharje is trailing by 800 votes in Jadavpur seat of Kolkata, according to the latest trends.
09: 00 am: Of the trends of 98 seats available so far in West Bengal, Trinamool Congress-Congress combine is leading in 66 seats while Left Front was ahead in 30. Others are leading in two seats.
Trinamool Congress is ahead in nine of the eleven seats of Kolkata.
08: 45 am: Latest trends suggest TMC are leading in 24 seats and Left in 7.
08: 35 am: Pro-Trinamool experts in the studio of Star Ananda were effusive at the initial trends in which Trinamool is leading.
Congress leader and spokesperson Om Prakash Mishra in the studio has said that he is happy that their combine is ahead in all the seats of Kolkata.
The Left Front spokesperson in the studio is still optimistic about a left win and said it is too early to predict.
08:25 am: Of the trends of 27 seats available so far in West Bengal, Trinamool Congress-Congress combine is leading in 16 seats while Left Front was ahead in 16.
Others are leading in one seat.
Trinamool Congress is ahead in five seats of Kolkata.
08:15 am: The counting has begun across 48 centres in Assam at all the 126 constituencies. Around 8000 personnel are involved in the counting.
In West Bengal, the counting began at 87 centres at all 294 constituencies. More than 14,000 personnel are involved in the counting process. The final results are expected to be declared by 6 pm.
News reports say that there have been record sales of green gulal (TM's party's colours) in the state.
08. 10 am: The counting has begun and is taking place in 142 counting halls in Assam and 312 in West Bengal.
West Bengal has an assembly strength of 294 and Assam 126.
A total of 14.16 crore voters exercised their franchise in five states which was 20 per cent of the total 72.8 crore electorate in the country with Tamil Nadu and West Bengal (84.8 per cent) registering "all time record turnouts".
Fortress Communism looks set to fall after 34 years.
At least that is what all the major exit polls are saying.
Almost all of the pollsters have Mamata Banerjee's combine winning over 220 seats.
TV channel CNN-IBN's poll had the Trinamool Congress-Congress combine winning 222-234 seats and the Left 65-70 seats.
The Star-Nielsen survey meanwhile pegged Mamata and allies at 221 seats.
Headlines Today too was gung ho when it came to the Trinamool's prospects setting their tally at between 210-220.
C-Voter Broadcast News-C voter exit poll also gave Trinamool and allies a total of 227-235 seats.
The evidence on the basis of these polls might be overwhelming, but we need to wait a tad longer (till about noon May 13) to officially confirm if Mamata will indeed make her way into the Chief Minister's office located in Kolkata's famous Writer's building.
Brief pen-sketch of Mamata
The 56-year-old single woman lives with her mother in Kalighat, a poor Kolkata neighbourhood close to a crematorium. The Lok Sabha lists her permanent address as 30-B, Harish Chatterjee Street,Kolkata-700 026 West BengalTels. (033) 24753000.
The daughter of a teacher, she holds a MA, BEd and LLB, and also was trained in work education.
She is known for her fiery temper and frugal lifestyle.
A battle-hardened poll veteran, she certainly is. CPM acolytes famously fractured her skull leaving her hospitalised for many months. As she told Jim Yardley of the New York Times, "They have attacked me many times. From my belly to my back to my eyes, I'm covered in these things (scars).'
Famous sound bytes from Mamata
'We will be guided by the policy of Maa, Mati, Manush (Mother, Motherland and People)'
'The communist-alliance is on the ventilator. It will be cremated on May 13'
'I promise to turn north Bengal into Switzerland'
'A new morning beckons. The age of darkness is ending. Change is in the air'
The big question looming before Mamata
She needs to have a concrete agenda beyond her anti-CPI(M)ism.
As the famous writer Mahasweta Devi articulated the chief concern aired against the Trinamool chief: 'What are Mamata's politics? It is very difficult to say. We've seen that she is against the CPM. Nothing more than that.'
Assam is likely to give Congress a third time in power, if CNN-IBN is to be believed.
Star News also says that the Tarun Gogoi-led Congress has a chance to create history in Assam by returning to power for a third consecutive term.
The Headlines Today poll, meanwhile, predicts 44 of the 126 seats for Congress in Assam, with potential ally AUDF slated to win 14.
The discordant note has been struck by the C-VOTER exit poll that predicts a hung assembly.
Live coverage of the West Bengal and Assam election results begin at 8 am here on Sify.