With the latest results and tie-ups, the BJP now heads — or has a presence — in six of the seven northeast governments. The saffron party is yet to make inroads in Mizoram, which is set to go to the polls later this year.
Tripura: BJP gets clear majority
This time, the BJP was not able to match its 2018 tally of 35 but still managed to cross the majority mark of 31 by itself.
The BJP secured 32 seats while its ally IPFT won 1 seat (down from 8 last year).
The saffron party’s vote share percentage also dropped by 5%, compared to the 2018 results.
Newly formed Tipra Motha — led by Pradoyt Kishore Manikya Debbarma, a scion of the erstwhile Tripura royal family — made a strong debut and emerged as the second-largest party. Debbarma has said that it will perform the role of a “constructive opposition”, but not be with the CPM or Congress.
“We are the second largest party so we will sit in the constructive opposition but will not sit with CPM or Congress. We can sit independently. We will help the government whenever they need,” Debbarma said.
Nagaland: NDPP moves from strength to strength
The Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) improved its performance this year, winning 25 of 60 seats seats (it had won 18 seats in 2018).
Its junior ally, the BJP managed to win the same amount of seats it did in the last assembly elections.
The election results have come as a shocker for the Naga Peoples Front, which managed to win just 2 seats — compared to 26 in 2018. Its vote share has also plummeted from 38.8% in the last state polls to just 7% this time.
The NDPP meanwhile, improved its vote share from 25% to 32%; and the BJP’s performance improved by 3 percentage points to 18.8%.
Meghalaya: NPP single-largest party, looks for allies
Chief minister Conrad Sangma’s NPP emerged as the single-largest party in the state, winning 26 of the 60 seats.
Moments after the Election Commission declared the results, Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma tweeted that Sangma had called up Amit Shah seeking the BJP’s support in forming the next government.
Following Sarma’s tweet, BJP national president JP Nadda immediately ordered the state unit to give all support to Sangma to form the next government.
The United Democratic Party emerged as the second largest party with 11 seats, while the Congress has been relegated to a side player with just 5 seats — a big fall from the 21 seats it had won in the last assembly elections.
In terms of vote share, the NPP has made huge strides over the last two assembly elections — from 8.8% in 2013 to 31.5% this year. The Congress, however, has seen its share drop from 28.5% in 2018 to 13.1% in 2023.
Congress’s position weakens further in run up to 2024
The grand old party has registered another dismal performance in the three northeast states which marked the first electoral battle of 2023. While the party has managed to open its account in Meghalaya and Tripura, it has failed to win any seat in Nagaland.
These results will come as a huge disappointment to party chief Mallikarjun Kharge, who at the recently concluded 85th plenary session of the party, had heralded the beginning of a “new Congress.”
It will further dent the party’s hopes to lead the opposition fight against the BJP in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
In 2022, the Congress could win just one of the seven assembly elections, ceding its political space to not just the BJP but also to the regional parties.
The grand old party lost Uttar Pradesh, Goa, Manipur, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Gujarat in 2022. The only face-saver for the party was Himachal Pradesh where it could defeat the BJP to grab power.
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