2023 Election Results: Today the votes are counted for three northeastern states: Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland. The stakes are high for the BJP, which hopes to retain power in all three states.
These are the top 10 developments:
According to early indications, the BJP has advanced in Nagaland and Tripura. Its former ally – Conrad Sangma’s National People’s Party – is ahead with 12 seats in Meghalaya. The counting of votes began at 8:00 am.
Exit polls have predicted a BJP victory in Tripura, albeit by a slim margin. An exciting race is predicted in Meghalaya, with Conrad Sangma leading the way. In Nagaland, the BJP and its partner NDPP (Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party) will win a comfortable victory. However, exit polls can often be wrong.
In Meghalaya, the BJP and Conrad Sangma’s NPP contested the election solo after a five-year alliance. But today, before the count, Mr. Sangma met Himanta Biswa Sarma in Guwahati. Sources said they discussed the possibility of a post-poll alliance, though leaders downplayed it as a “meeting of friends”.
If the BJP-NPP alliance fails to make the numbers in the 2023 elections, Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress could play a key role. A total of four exit polls have predicted the BJP will gain seven seats, up from two, which would bring the strength of the alliance to 27 seats, four short of the majority in the 60-member assembly.
However, the BJP-led North East Development Alliance, or NEDA, headed by Mr Sarma, has announced that it will not cooperate with the Congress or the Trinamool Congress to form a government in Meghalaya.
In Tripura, the BJP is hoping for a major comeback, well above its 2018 score of 36. The party has been battling in alliance with ruling partner Indigenous Progressive Front of Tripura, or IPFT. But Chief Minister Manik Saha has said that the BJP will achieve majority without the help of the ally like last time.
The CPM, which held power in Tripura for 35 years, has joined forces with the Congress in what is largely seen as a last-ditch effort to regain its numbers. Over the past five years, both sides have suffered a massive erosion of their base of support. The CPM contested 47 of the state’s 60 seats, leaving only 13 for Congress.
The Tipra Motha – the new party led by former royal Pradyot Kishore Debbarma with the core question of Greater Tipraland – is also hoping for a stretch of seats and a chance to play kingmaker. The BJP had initially tried to build ties with the Tipra Motha, but its overtures were rejected after the party declared it would not allow any division of Tripura.
In Nagaland, as the ruling alliance hopes to sail through, the seats to watch out for include Northern Angami 1, from which Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio battles. Tyui is the stronghold of BJP Deputy Chief Minister Y Patton.
The results will also be announced for a series of interim polls – the Erode (East) seat in Tamil Nadu, Sagardighi in West Bengal, Ramgarh in Jharkhand and Kasba Peth and Chinchwad in Maharashtra.