M Karunanidhi, chief of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, is being hailed after winning most seats in Tamil Nadu. His party held key portfolios such as telecom, transport and environment in the outgoing government, and he is expected to have a larger say now.
Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi was the BJP’s star campaigner and has a track record of effective governance in the state. After the BJP’s defeat, he is being positioned to take over the party reins at the national level.
Kamal Kishore / PTI
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Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee has emerged as a giant killer, positioning herself to challenge the 32-year Left rule in West Bengal. Her alliance with the Congress in the state will get her a larger share of power in the new government at the Centre.
Deshkalyan Chowdhury / AFP
Bihar chief minister and Janata Dal (United) leader Nitish Kumar is being lauded for sweeping Bihar elections and wiping out Lalu Prasad’s Rashtriya Janata Dal, largely on the development plank. With the emphasis firmly on governance he looks set to consolidate his gains.
Incumbent Orissa chief minister and Biju Janata Dal chief Naveen Patnaik is being seen as an astute politician for breaking ranks with the BJP and sweeping both the state assembly and Lok Sabha polls. Experts believe he is a potential ally for the UPA.
Prakash Singh / AFP
Illustrations by Jayachandran / Mint