BJP Goes From Zero to Hero in Tripura, Nagaland Down to the Wire
There has never been a BJP chief minister in either Tripura, Meghalaya or Nagaland. Will that change today?
Nagaland: BJP Set to Oust Naga People’s Front?
- The Nagaland People’s Front (NPF) has been in power in the state since 2003. Will 15 years of anti-incumbency finally take its toll today?
- Exit polls predict a victory for the BJP-Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) alliance.
Meghalaya: Can Congress Hold Fort?
- Meghalaya has traditionally been a Congress stronghold. In its entire electoral history since 1972, only one non-Congress government has completed a full five- year term in Meghalaya.
- Exit polls place the Congress and the National People’s Party (NPP) in a close contest. Post-poll alliances may hold the key if neither party manages to reach the magic figure of 31 in the 60-member Assembly.
Tripura: Will Manik Lose Sarkar?
- Barring one term of the Congress from 1988 to 1993, Tripura has had a Left Front government since 1978.
- Manik Sarkar himself has been the CM since March 1998, that’s two decades in power.
- The Left is looking for an unprecedented sixth consecutive victory in Tripura.
- In the first-ever direct fight between the Left and the Right in a state election in India, exit polls suggest that the BJP stands a strong chance of breaking into the CPI(M)’s bastion.
What's at Stake for the Congress?
- In Nagaland, the Congress fielded only 18 candidates, less than a third of the total seats on offer, seemingly having given up on the election even before the first votes were cast. The decision reportedly caused discontent among the local leadership of the party and has been attributed to factors ranging from defection of leaders to a cash crunch and shortage of resources.
- In Tripura, the Congress will be little more than a spectator as the Left and the BJP await the results of their duel. Though the CPI(M) recently resolved to not join hands with the Congress in the run up to the 2019 general election, the Congress will be hoping that the Left party staves off the challenge from Modi and Shah today.
- That leaves Meghalaya the only state that can bring the Congress some real cheer today. Yet, a decade of anti-incumbency might spoil the party for incumbent Chief Minister Mukul Sangma and co.
Early Leads in Tripura: BJP and Left Front Neck and Neck
In early leads, the BJP is ahead in 10 seats and the Left Front in nine seats. The first signs of an impressive BJP showing is on the cards. Whether or not the saffron party ends the two-decade-long reign of CM Manik Sarkar, it will surely establish itself as the primary opposition party in the state.
Meghalaya: Will 'Others' Play Kingmaker?
Of the 11 seats for which early leads are coming in, ‘Others’ are leading in 4 seats. The Congress and the NPP are leading in 4 seats apiece, and the BJP is ahead in one seat.
The magic figure in the 60-member Assembly is 31. If both the Congress and the NPP fail to reach that mark, those in the ‘Others’ category will assume a much greater importance, and potentially turn kingmakers.
Nagaland: BJP-NDPP Ahead in Early Leads
Though initial leads have come in from only 8 seats of the 60-member Assembly, the BJP-NDPP alliance seems to be off to a good start. The BJP is ahead in 6 seats and the incumbent NPF is leading in two seats as of now.
Tripura: Nail-biter of an Election on the Cards
More leads coming in – the BJP leads in 21, Left ahead in 22 seats.
Magic figure: 31 seats out of 60
Given that these numbers are just leads and NOT results, either party crossing the 30 mark right now will not stand for much. If this trajectory continues, this race might just go down to the wire. BJP supporters in the state are already celebrating the meteoric rise of the party – from nothing five years ago to battling for power today.
Left Goes Ahead in Tripura, Crosses Magic Figure (But Wait!)
The Left is ahead in 32 seats, the BJP in 22. Manik Sarkar seems to be taking CPI(M) home to a sixth consecutive Assembly election victory.
But these are just early leads. So if you’re a Left supporter, don’t begin those celebrations just yet, maybe?
Does the BJP still have a reason to celebrate? Very much so.Is it any closer to forming government in Tripura though? At the moment, things aren’t looking too good for the saffron party.
Which National Party Will Party Tonight?
The BJP is trailing in Tripura and Nagaland, and the Congress is leading in Meghalaya. As far as the two national parties are concerned, the grand old party seems to be having a better day so far.
But that’s not the whole picture. In Tripura, the BJP has made unprecedented strides, surging ahead from zero seats in the 2013 election to being all set to become the primary opposition party post this election.
In Nagaland, the Congress party is discontent with the central leadership not backing a full bid to power. The Congress fielded only 18 candidates in the state this election.
Which National Party Will Party Tonight? (Reloaded)
And the game has turned on its head.
The BJP has surged ahead both in Tripura and Nagaland, crossing the magic figure in both the states in terms of leads, while the Congress is still struggling to reach there in Meghalaya.
Meghalaya: The Theatre for Post-Poll Drama?
The Meghalaya election might just turn out to be the most interesting one of them all today. Why?
Because no party may reach the magic figure of 31 in the 60-member Assembly. The Congress is currently leading in 27 seats. At the second position are the ‘Others’, leading in 14 seats. The NPP stands ahead in 10 seats and the BJP in 8.
If the Congress slips a few seats further, the BJP’s post-poll deftness may well see it cobble a coalition with the NPP and smaller parties such as Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP) and United Democratic Party (UDP).
Manik's Sarkar Comes to An End
- The CPI(M) has been in power in Tripura for the last 25 years.
- Manik Sarkar has been CM since March 1998.
- In the last 40 years, the CPI(M) had lost power only once, to the Congress between 1988 and 1993.
- The BJP will form the government for the first time in Tripura, ending the Left’s 25-year-long reign.
Meghalaya: Drama Continues, Congress Slips to 23 Seats
The ‘Others’ seem more likely than ever before to hold the key to this election. So, which are the parties that form this (generically named) group? And how many seats have they won or are leading in?
- Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) - 1 seat, likely to support a Congress bid to power
- Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP) - 2 seats
- United Democratic Party (UDP) - 6 seats
- Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement (KHNAM) - 1 seat
- People's Democratic Front (PDF) - 3 seats
- Independent - 4 seats
That’s 17 seats in which ‘Others’ are set to win. It places them just one seat behind the NPP, which is at 18 seats. The Congress is at 21, a full 10 seats away from the magic figure of 31.
The BJP will look to ally with the NPP and smaller parties like the HSPDP, UDP, KHNAM and PDF to cross the halfway mark. In addition to wooing these parties, the Congress will expect the support of the NCP and attempt to persuade the 4 independents as well in their bid to form the next government.
These small regional parties, therefore, hold the answer to the fortunes of the two national parties in Meghalaya.
Nagaland Contest Heats Up
The BJP-NDPP alliance holds a slender lead in Nagaland. It is ahead in 29 seats. The incumbent NPF is leading in 28 seats. The magic figure the parties need to reach to form a government in the state is 31.
‘Others’ are ahead in three seats. Will this election also be decided by the ‘Others’, or will the NPF or the BJP-NDPP alliance pull through to win 31 seats?
Somebody Win in Nagaland Already!
Okay, honestly, I don’t remember the last time a state election was this much of a cliffhanger at 4:30 pm, a full eight-and-a-half hours after the counting of votes began.
The NPF is leading in 29 seats, the BJP-NDPP alliance is leading in 29 seats, and ‘Others’ are leading in the remaining two seats. What is even happening? Announce a winner already!
Why the BJP is Celebrating a Hung Assembly in Meghalaya
The BJP camp is all smiles now that it is certain that Meghalaya has voted in a hung Assembly. The Congress stands at 21 seats, just one seat ahead of the NPP. With the smaller regional parties by and large predisposed against the Congress, a BJP-assisted NPP government seems the most likely possibility.
With the BJP already having shown its prowess in post-poll coalition management in Goa and Manipur recently, the Congress camp will know that their shot at government formation is practically over.
For the grand old party to reach ‘the 31 mark’ therefore, is more a possibility on paper than anything else.
Neither Tripura, Meghalaya nor Nagaland have ever seen a BJP chief minister. The Left has ruled Tripura uninterrupted for the last 25 years. Meghalaya has been under Congress rule for the past decade.
Today may change all of that.
Here’s our live analysis of counting day – watch on as we break down all the leads, results and election insights for you.
- Leads from Tripura: The BJP ahead in 44 seats, the Left in 15. BJP makes history, will form first non-Left government in the state in 25 years.
- In Meghalaya, Congress ahead in 21 seats, NPP in 19. If neither Congress nor NPP can reach the magic figure of 31, the ‘Others’ may well become the kingmakers of this election. ‘Others’ are leading in 17 seats
- Nagaland: The NPF is ahead in 29 seats, BJP-NDPP alliance leading in 29 seats. This one’s going down to the wire!
Veteran journalist Kishalay Bhattacharjee analyses what has been a cracker of a counting day so far.
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3:06 AM, 03 MarEarly Leads in Tripura: BJP and Left Front Neck and Neck
3:20 AM, 03 MarMeghalaya: Will 'Others' Play Kingmaker?
3:31 AM, 03 MarNagaland: BJP-NDPP Ahead in Early Leads
3:44 AM, 03 MarTripura: Nail-biter of an Election on the Cards
4:17 AM, 03 MarLeft Goes Ahead in Tripura, Crosses Magic Figure (But Wait!)
4:25 AM, 03 MarWhich National Party Will Party Tonight?
5:07 AM, 03 MarWhich National Party Will Party Tonight? (Reloaded)
5:43 AM, 03 MarLive from Shillong: Journalist Samrat X Discusses Meghalaya Scenario
6:06 AM, 03 MarMeghalaya: The Theatre for Post-Poll Drama?
6:06 AM, 03 MarWhat A Turnaround for the BJP!
7:00 AM, 03 MarManik's Sarkar Comes to An End
7:16 AM, 03 MarMeghalaya: Drama Continues, Congress Slips to 23 Seats
8:49 AM, 03 MarNagaland Contest Heats Up