It was a mega win for the BJP in north-eastern states; the party has won Tripura and is close to victory in Nagaland. It may also form a government in Meghalaya, renewing its alliance with Conrad Sang. The BJP-IPFT (Indigenous Progressive Front of Tripura) alliance returned to power in Tripura, winning 33 of the state’s 60 seats. The score of the alliance, however, is down by 11 from 2018, when the BJP alone won 36 seats and the IPFT eight. Erstwhile royal Pradyot Kishore Debbarma’s Tipra Motha, which made its debut in this election, won 13 seats. The party, which is pushing for a Greater Tipraland, appears to have grabbed the IPFT’s tribal support.
Meghalaya was headed for a hung house when Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, whose National People’s Party is leading the field, dialed the BJP’s chief strategist, Amit Shah. The two parties had decided to go it alone in the election after a rift over corruption allegations against Sangma’s NPP. The Left, which ruled the state for 35 years, and its new ally, Congress are leading by 14 seats, down by two. Meghalaya’s new entrant, the Trinamool Congress, took two seats, and defying exit poll predictions, the Congress is leading by five seats. In Nagaland, the BJP and its partner, the NDPP (Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party), were leading with 37 seats—seven more than the last time. The state also has a female MLA, a first since Independence.
The BJP-IPFT alliance won 31 seats in the 60-member Tripura assembly, securing its return to power in the northeastern state for the second time in a row. According to the Election Commission website, the BJP bagged 30 seats while the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) got one. Meghalaya CM and Nation People’s Party (NPP) supremo Conrad Sangma has sought Union home minister Amit Shah’s blessings to form the next government in the hill state of Assam. Meanwhile, Neiphiu Rio is set to assume office as chief minister for a fifth consecutive term after a convincing win for the NDPP and its ally, the BJP.
The BJP retained its iron grip in the northeastern region, with governments in as many as 7 out of 8 states. Meanwhile, the Congress, which once held a formidable position in the northeast, failed to make a mark in all three states this year. The biggest setback for Congress was in the multi-cornered contest in Meghalaya. While the party was the single-largest in 2018, this year it saw its seat shares fall to single digits. In Tripura, the debutant Tipra Motha, led by the royal scion Pradyot Kishore Manikya Debbarma, made an impressive debut with leads in 12 seats, as per the available trends.
The elections for Tripura assembly were held on February 16, where 89.95 per cent of the 28.14 lakh voters exercised their franchise. The elections for the Meghalaya and Nagaland assemblies were conducted on February 27, 2023. At least six more assembly elections need to happen in 2023. After Meghalaya, Nagaland, and Tripura assembly elections, six more state assemblies are set to go for elections in 2023. Karnataka assembly elections are due in May 2023. Then, assembly elections in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana, and Mizoram will be held toward the end of 2023. If the delimitation exercise is complete, Jammu and Kashmir can also hold assembly elections in 2023. The ruling National People’s Party has won 25 seats while leading in one assembly constituency. The United Democratic Party (UDP) has won 11 seats.
Supporters of all the parties in the fray gathered at the Polo Ground in Shillong as the counting of votes for the Meghalaya assembly was going on. Meanwhile, anticipating a win, NPP supporters have gathered outside CM Conrad Sangma’s residence in Tura. The counting in all 13 centers commenced at 8am. Initially, the postal ballots were counted for the first 30 minutes, followed by the counting of polled votes in the EVM Control Units. Shillong has the state’s maximum number of 14 counting halls, one for each assembly constituency. The West Garo Hills District Counting Centre caters to 11 assembly constituencies and is the second-largest counting center in the state.
The BJP and its ally, the NDPP , have crossed the majority mark by winning 34 seats so far in Nagaland as the counting of votes continues. According to the latest trends shared by the Election Commission at 4.45 pm, the BJP has won 12 seats, while the NDPP has bagged 22 seats and is leading by 3 seats. Congress bagged five seats and is leading by two seats. Nagaland political stalwart and its longest serving chief minister Neiphiu Rio is set to assume office for a fifth consecutive term. Nagaland voted on February 27 with around 85.79% voter turnout. Nagaland has made elaborate security arrangements with a three-tier cordoning system for counting of EVMs across the headquarters of 16 election districts. Repolling was held at 4 polling stations, which was marred by violence, killing 1 on Tuesday night.
In 2018, the NPF emerged as the largest party, winning 26 out of 60 seats, but failed to form the government. Its pre-election alliance with the BJP collapsed before the election, and the saffron party, with its 12 seats, turned to the newly formed NDPP, which had won 18 seats, to form the government.