The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday achieved a morale-boosting victory with its ‘Mission Northeast’ by retaining Tripura in a resounding manner, despite facing anti-incumbency sentiments and the newcomer Tipra Motha posing as a challenge to its party. Additionally, the BJP managed to secure power in Nagaland by aligning with the Neiphiu Rio-led Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP).
In Meghalaya, the party was set to become a junior partner once again in the ruling dispensation, as Chief Minister Conrad Sangma’s National People’s Party (NPP) fell short of a majority despite winning the largest number of seats, 26 out of 60, in the Assembly.
Following the announcement of the election results, Prime Minister Narendra Modi attributed the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) consistent victories across states, including the Northeast, to a “Triveni” or triumvirate of work, work culture, and commitment to service displayed by its governments and workers.
Although the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) victories as junior partners in the hill regions of Nagaland and Meghalaya are positive for optics and an opportunity to boast about the decline of the Congress, which was previously in power in both states but won only five and zero seats, respectively, the true highlight of the BJP’s recent electoral success was Tripura.
the BJP-Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) alliance retained control of the state, winning 33 seats in the 60-member Assembly. Although this is 10 seats less than their 2018 victory, it is still a significant majority that enables them to govern for the next five years without relying on the support of newcomer party Tipra Motha, which secured an impressive 13 seats.
Two years ago, a scion of Tripura’s former princely family formed a new party that managed to siphon off tribal votes from both the Left-Congress alliance, which secured 14 seats, and the BJP-IPFT alliance.
The Trinamool Congress fared poorly, failing to win any of the 28 seats it contested and obtaining a lower vote share (0.88%) than those who chose the None-Of-The-Above (NOTA) option. The BJP competed in 55 seats and won 32, three less than their 2018 total, while the IPFT was reduced to a single seat, down from eight five years earlier.
The Communist Party of India (Marxist), which ruled the northeastern state for 25 years before losing power in 2018, won just 11 seats this time, down from 16 in the previous election.
Fielding candidates in only 13 constituencies, the Congress won three seats and managed to secure a notable vote share of 8.56 percent.
“The BJP’s victory was expected… We were eagerly waiting for it. Our responsibility has been increased with the decisive mandate,” said Chief Minister Manik Saha who took over the job last year when the BJP decided on a brand renewal exercise by replacing unpopular Biplab Kumar Deb.