New Delhi, Mar 3: The BJP’s push in the Nagaland, Tripura and Meghalaya has meant that these assembly elections in the three North-eastern states have seen an unprecedented interest across India. In polls that seem to be going down the wire, the BJP seems set to establish itself was a force to be contended with in these states. Also Read - Assam Police Arrests Opposition MLA Over 'Objectionable' Remarks on COVID-19 Quarantine Camps
In Tripura, Chief Minister Manik Sarkar seems to be struggling to be off the challenge mounted by the BJP but trends there are changing by the minute. The CPI (M) led in 19 seats and the BJP on 40 at 11:45 AM. Also Read - Crackers Are Passe, This BJP Leader Fired Shots in Air to Fulfil PM Modi's '9 Baje 9 Minute' Request, Booked
Speaking to news agency ANI, Brinda Karat said, “We are very confident. Let more rounds of counting complete, our leads are going to get much bigger.” (Also Read: Confident of Forming Govt in All Three States: Kiren Rijiju) Also Read - 'Long Fight Against COVID-19 But Can't Give up', Says PM Modi; Is This a Hint at Lockdown Extension?
In Meghalaya, the actual number will count and the big question is whether the Congress will reach the majority mark of 31. With leads available at 11:45 AM, the Congress-led in 21 seats, while BJP’s ally at the centre NPP, founded by former Lok Sabha Speaker PA Sangma, was ahead in 17 and the BJP in 6. Interestingly, another NDA partner, UDP, which contested the state polls separately, is leading in 8 seats. Pollsters believe that if these trends hold the NDA partners, who decided to go it alone in the state, may come together in a post-poll alliance to keep the Congress out. (Also Read: Meet The Man Behind BJP’s Super Show in Tripura)
Most exit polls had predicted the Congress led by Chief Minister Mukul Sangma will win between 13 and 20 seats. The chief minister, who is contesting from two seats, Songsak and Ampati, is currently leading in both.
Nagaland is proving to be another closely contested state where the contest is between Chief Minister TR Zeliang of the NPF and the newly-formed NDPP of Zeliang’s colleague turned adversary Neiphui Rio. The BJP, which was in alliance with the NPF, broke away before the elections to partner with the NDPP. The NPF is ahead on 26 seats and the NDPP-BJP alliance in 29 seats . Health warning: as in the two other states, the lead positions are extremely fluid in Nagaland too.
All the three states have 60 assembly seats and any party or alliance needs 31 to form a government. Polling was held for 59 seats in Tripura and Meghalaya after the death of candidates forced elections to be postponed on a seat each. In Nagaland, former Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio has been elected unopposed from his constituency Northern Angami II.