The 25 Lok Sabha seats in the eight northeast states have usually gone the Congress’ way. This time, there was one irritant — a minority party United Democratic Front (AUDF), in Assam gave it a drubbing.
With 14 seats, the focus was Assam. For the first time since 1996, the Congress faced an united Opposition — the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP)-BJP alliance. Perfume baron Badruddin Ajmal’s AUDF contesting its maiden LS polls defeated the Congress in Dhubri by 1.8 lakh votes. Regarding a post-poll alliance, he said, “We are for a non-Congress, non-BJP front.”
The BJP’s Kabindra Purakay-astha defeated Union minister Santosh Mohan Dev in Silchar. CM Tarun Gogoi said he was “happy with the overall result.” AGP’s only win was in Tezpur with Joseph Topno. The BJP gained more from the alliance bagging four seats. It failed to help the AGP improve its last show. Both its sitting MPs lost.
The Congress swept Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur (two each) and won one from Mizoram and Meghalaya. The CPI-M retained both seats in Tripura; NCP’s sole gain was Agatha Sangma’s win from Tura. The Sikkim Democratic Front kept its only seat in Sikkim. Nagaland People’s Front won the lone Nagaland seat.