BJP secures second term in Tripura, banks on NDPP to win Nagaland

Nagaland's first woman MLA Hekani Jakhalu. Photo:@ndppofficial/Twitter.

Kohima/Shillong/Agartala: The BJP-IPFT alliance returns to power in Tripura winning 33 seats in the 60-member assembly on Thursday, as the Election Commission declared the results of all the constituencies.

The Tipra Motha, formed by the former scion of the state's princely family Pradyot Kishore Debbarma, bagged 13 seats, while the Left-Congress alliance secured 14, with Debbarma's party eating into the Left's tribal votes.

The Trinamool Congress performed poorly winning none of the 28 seats it contested. Its vote share (0.88 per cent) came to less than that of those who stamped None-Of-The-Above (NOTA).

Though the coalition of the BJP and the Indigenous People's Front of Tripura (IPFT) returned to power for a second time, both parties secured fewer seats when compared to their performance in 2018, mainly as Tipra Motha did well in the tribal hinterland.

The saffron party contested 55 seats and won 32, three less than what it bagged in 2018. The party also secured 38.97 per cent of the votes polled. The IPFT, which was affected by a factional fight, managed to emerge victorious in only one seat, while it had got eight seats five years back. Its vote share this time was a meagre 1.26 per cent.

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) lost power in 2018 after ruling the northeastern state for 25 years by winning only 16 seats last time around. This time they contested 47 seats and won 11, with a vote share of 24.62 per cent. Other Left parties Forward Bloc, CPI and RSP - failed to open their account.

Supporters of various parties gather outside a counting centre awaiting results of Meghalaya Assembly elections, in Ri Bhoi district on March 2, 2023. Photo: PTI/Trideep Lahkar

Fielding candidates in 13 constituencies, the Congress won three, bagging a vote share of 8.56 per cent.

“The BJP's victory was expected. We were eagerly waiting for it. Our responsibility has been increased with the decisive mandate,” said outgoing Chief Minister Manik Saha who came to the state's top post in May last year replacing Biplab Kumar Deb.

Manik Saha, tipped to be Tripura's chief minister for a second term, defeated Congress' veteran leader Ashish Kumar Saha by a margin of 1,257 votes from Town Bardowali despite detractors within his own party predicting a tough time for him in the prestigious constituency. 

From Saha joining the saffron party in 2016 to being made chief minister last year in a brand renewal exercise, it has been a short but upward journey for the 69-year-old dental surgeon-turned-politician. 

The man who BJP has built up as 'Mr Clean' took over as chief of Tripura's BJP unit in 2020 and then did a short stint as a member of the Rajya Sabha from April 3 to July 4 last year.

In Nagaland, the BJP rode the NDPP wave to make inroads. Forty-eight-year-old lawyer-activist Hekani Jakhalu from NDPP made history on Thursday as she became the first woman MLA from Nagaland from the Dimapur-III seat.

Salhoutuonuo Kruse of NDPP also won from the West Angami seat in the State. Nagaland had four women candidates contesting in the Assembly Elections this time. 

NDPP-BJP gets majority in Nagaland, wins 33 seats

The ruling NDPP-BJP alliance got the majority in the 60-member Nagaland Assembly by winning 33 seats on Thursday, the EC said.

The Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) won 21 seats while its alliance partner got 12 seats, the EC added.

Elections were held for 59 Assembly seats on February 27, as the Akuluto seat has been won uncontested by BJP nominee Kazheto Kinimi.

Election officials counting votes in Tripura. Photo: PTI.

The Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) won 11 seats while the BJP won four seats. The NDPP is leading in 13 seats while the BJP is ahead in eight constituencies, the election commission website said.

NDPP supremo and Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio was leading by over 15,000 votes against his nearest Indian National Congress party rival Seyievilie Sachu, it said.

The NDPP-BJP alliance fought the election on a 40:20 seat-sharing arrangement.

Hekhani Jakhalu created history on Thursday by becoming the first woman to be elected to the Nagaland Assembly, officials said.

Jakhalu, the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) candidate for the Dimapur III seat defeated her nearest rival Azheto Zhimomi of the Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas) by 1,536 votes, the Election Commission of India, said.

Four women candidates - Hekhani Jakhaulu, Salhoutuo Kruse, Hukali Sema and Rosy Thompson - contested the Nagaland Assembly election this time.

The Republican Party of India (Athawale) which contested the Nagaland Assembly election for the first time won two seats - Tuensang Sadar II seat and the Noksen constituency.

The LJP (Ramvilas) which also contested the Nagaland Assembly election for the first time won the Pughoboto seat as its candidate Dr Sukhato A Sema defeated nearest rival Y Vikheho Swu of NDPP by 850 votes, the EC said.

Deputy Chief Minister and BJP nominee Y Patton is leading by over 8,000 votes in the Tyui seat.

NPP wins 20 seats, ahead in five in Meghalaya

The ruling National People's Party (NPP) in Meghalaya won 20 seats and was leading in five other constituencies, the Election Commission said on Thursday as results of 52 of the 59 assembly seats that went to polls on February 27 were declared.

BJP workers gather outside the party office during counting of votes for Tripura Assembly elections, in Agartala
BJP workers gather outside the party office during counting of votes for Tripura Assembly elections, in Agartala, Thursday, March 2, 2023. Photo: PTI

The United Democratic Party (UDP) bagged 11 constituencies, while the Congress won five seats. The Voice of the People Party (VPP) and the Trinamool Congress won four seats each, while the Mamata Banerjee-led party was ahead in one constituency.

The Hill State People's Democratic Party (HSPDP), the People's Democratic Front and the BJP won two seats each, while the saffron party was leading in one constituency. Two Independent candidates also emerged victorious.

Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma was leading in the South Tura seat by a margin of 2,830 votes, while his deputy Prestone Tynsong won the Pynursla seat by 8,140 votes.

Leader of Opposition Mukul Sangma of the TMC won the Songsak seat by a margin of 507 votes but lost the Tikrikilla constituency to NPP's J D Sangma by 5,313 votes.

State Congress president and MP Vincent H Pala lost to NPP's Santa Mary Shylla by 1,828 votes in the Sutnga Saipung seat.

Meghalaya Assembly Speaker Metbah Lyngdoh won the Mairang constituency by 155 votes, while BJP's Sanbor Shullai won the South Shillong seat by 11,609 votes.

Counting of votes began in Meghalaya at 8 am amid tight security. The votes are being counted at 13 centres.

Meghalaya has 60 seats, but polling in the Sohiong seat was adjourned due to the death of a candidate.  

(With inputs from PTI)

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