Agartala/Kohima/Shillong: It was a good day for the BJP and its allies on Saturday in all three of the states in the Northeast that recently went to the polls. The saffron party will lead the government in Tripura. And in Nagaland, it will be part of the next government this way or that. In Meghalaya, the BJP will be looking to help the National People’s Party (NPP) work its way to taking power.
The BJP demolished the communist citadel of Tripura, winning a two-thirds majority with ally IPFT and ending 25 years of uninterrupted rule of the CPI(M)-led Left Front. The saffron party had secured less than two percent votes in the 2013 polls.
On the other hand, the Congress could not open its account in Tripura and Nagaland.
Pulling off a historic victory, the BJP and its ally Indigenous People's Front of Tripura, a tribal-dominated party, together won 43 out of 59 Tripura constituencies. The BJP on its own won 35 seats, four more than the half-way mark, while its ally IPFT won eight seats. In a remarkable performance, the alliance swept all the 20 seats reserved for tribals.
The BJP, which had no MLAs in the outgoing Assembly and polled just 1.5 percent votes in the 2013 elections, losing deposits in 49 of the 50 constituencies it contested, secured over 42 percent of votes in the February 18, 2018, Tripura elections.
The CPI-M which headed the ruling Left Front was reduced to just 15 seats - down from 50 in the last elections. None of its partners, including the CPI, Forward Bloc and Revolutionary Socialist Party, could open their account.
The Congress, which had 10 members in the outgoing Assembly, drew a blank this time.
Nagaland gave a fractured verdict with no party or pre-poll alliance having a majority. The Naga Peoples Front (NPF) is the single largest party in the House with 27 seats.
The BJP-Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) combine has also won 27 seats.
The National People's Party (NPP) of Conrad Sangma has won two seats, and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's JD(U) one. Independent candidate has also won one seat.
The BJP had parted ways with the NPF just ahead of the polls and joined hands with the newly launched NDPP of three-time former chief minister Neiphiu Rio, also an old Naga People's Front hand.
All three states have 60-member Assemblies but polling was held for 59 seats each due to various reasons.
Meghalaya too gave a fractured verdict with the ruling Congress emerging as the single largest party and has won 21 seats.
The BJP could win just two seats in Christian-dominated Meghalaya, but its Northeast democratic alliance partner National People's Party clinched 19. Together they equal the Congress's tally.
On the other hand, United Democratic Party has won six seats, People's Democratic Front four, Hill State People’s Democratic Party two, Nationalist Congress Party one, Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement one and Independent candidate one.
They are likely to play a decisive role in government formation.
(With PTI inputs)