Meghalaya witnessed a hung Assembly as predicted by the pollsters. But at the same time, there is no end to the Congress’s woes in Assembly elections as the party suffered smashing defeats in Meghalaya, Tripura and Nagaland. In Meghalaya, the Congress managed to secure only five seats while BJP which for the first time contested on all 60 seats could register victory in just two seats of the 59 that went to polls. Voting on one seat has been postponed because of a candidate’s death. The BJP was a partner in the state government but broke its alliance with the ruling NPP. However, the two parties are again coming together to try to form the government.
In the Assembly poll results that came out on March 2, the NDPP-BJP alliance once again scripted history to notch up a morale-boosting win in Nagaland to be ‘BJPland’ for five more years. The alliance raised its flag in poll-bound Nagaland bagging 37 seats in the 60-member Nagaland assembly. The NDPP-BJP alliance secured a straight second term in office in the North East state. The Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party and the BJP emerged victorious in 25 and 12 constituencies respectively.
Apart from NDPP and BJP, none of the other parties in the Assembly election reached a double figure. NCP and NPP won seven and five seats respectively. While the LJP (Ram Vilas), RPI (Athawale) and the NPF equally shared six constituencies, the JD(U) got one seat. Independent candidates won four seats. The NDPP led by Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio won 18 seats in the assembly election 2023. Nagaland also elected its first women legislators in its 60 years of statehood. The two women lawmakers – Hekhani Jakhalu and Salhoutuonuo Kruse of the ruling NDPP – are greenhorns in politics but defeated the sitting MLAs in Western Angami and Dimapur-III seats respectively.
The BJP-IPFT alliance returned to power in Tripura winning 33 seats in the 60-member Assembly. The BJP has been able to retain power in Tripura by thwarting the challenge from the Left-Congress alliance and TIPRA Motha, which made an impressive debut in assembly elections. Despite winning 13 seats, TIPRA Motha will not be able to play the role of kingmaker as the Left-Congress alliance, which managed to win just 14 seats, ensured that the BJP comes to power on its own. The Trinamool Congress (TMC) drew a blank in Tripura and won just five seats in Meghalaya.
The results of these three states are crucial for next year’s parliamentary elections when Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his party, the BJP, will seek a third term at the Centre. There are 25 Lok Sabha constituencies in the North East. In the next Lok Sabha elections, BJP’s victory in Tripura, Nagaland and Meghalaya is of great importance as North-Eastern states will make up for any slight loss to BJP in other states. After the latest round of state polls, the North East is again going to play a crucial role in 2024 when Prime Minister Modi seeks his third straight term.
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