INDIA: With Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s agenda of peace and development in the northeast and the party’s poll machine remaining in fine fettle, the BJP secured a clear majority in the 60-member Tripura Legislative Assembly and was likely to form a coalition government in Nagaland and Meghalaya after the poll results were announced on Thursday.
In the election held on February 16, the BJP bagged 32 seats, trouncing both the Congress and left parties, who had joined hands to defeat it.
Tipra Motha, a new party demanding a separate “Tipraland,” emerged as the second-largest party in its debut. The results were: BJP-32, Tipra Motha (13), CPM-11, Congress-03, and Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT)-01 = 60.
In the 2018 elections, both the BJP and CPM won 36 and 16 seats, respectively. The current results indicated that the Tipra Motha, led by royal scion Pradyot Debbarma, made dents in the votes of both parties.
Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress could not open its account despite contesting 28 seats and having a large Bengali population. Chief Minister Manik Saha, who won from the Town Bordowali constituency, is expected to get a second term.
In the 60-member Nagaland assembly, the BJP managed to retain its 12 seats and will continue its alliance with the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDDP), which improved its performance considerably by adding seven seats to its kitty compared to the 2018 polls.
The results of the election held on February 27 were: NDDP—25, BJP—12, Naga People’s Front (NPF)—02, Congress—0, and others—21. The elections were held in 59 seats, as the BJP’s Kazheto Kinimi won unopposed from the Akuluto constituency.
Coincidentally, two candidates, Noksen Nangal and Tuensang Sad, won on the tickets of the Republican Party of India (Athawale), a Maharashtra-based party. Similarly, two other candidates belonging to the Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas) also registered victories.
In fact, in 2018, the BJP severed ties with the NPF, despite emerging as the single largest party (26 seats), and joined hands with the NDPP (18 seats) to form the government.
Now chief minister and NDPP leader Neiphiu Rio, who won from the Northern Angami-II seat (Kohima), is set to resume as the CM for the fifth term.
In the 60-member Meghalaya Assembly, the Nation People’s Party (NPP) led by the present incumbent and party chief, Conrad K. Sangma, improved its performance by securing six more seats to its tally of 26 seats (compared to 20 in 2018). Yet it falls short of the majority.
The BJP has already agreed to support the NPP. Still, Sagma would lead a cliffhanger majority government and will have to lure the MLAs from smaller parties.
The results of the polls held on February 27 were: NPP-26, Congress-05, TMC-05, BJP-2, Others-21=59. Polling was held in 59 out of 60 seats due to the demise of former state minister HDR Lyngdoh.
Sangma, who won from the West Gora Hills and South Tura constituencies, is set to become the CM for the second term.
PM Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Congress President Mapanna Mallikarjun Kharge, and others addressed poll campaign meetings.
AICC Nagaland in-charge Ajoy Kumar had even reportedly exhorted people to listen to the church and the appeal by the Naga Baptist Council in favour of the Congress. However, the BJP which shed its Hindu party face and emphasised a push for infrastructure, swayed the people in its favor.
Now the BJP, with its governments and governments in alliances, is set to control nearly six northeastern states. The Congress, which once held a formidable position in the region, has failed to make a mark in all three states.
Also Read: A Sign of Times: Increase in BJP Supporters in the Northeast