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Assembly election results Highlights: BJP sweeps Tripura, PM Modi says brought Delhi to Northeast

Northeast election results Highlights: The BJP cruised ahead in Tripura, which is considered a Left bastion. The Congress got the most seats in Meghalaya but didn’t cross the halfway mark. In Nagaland, the NDPP-BJP alliance led the way.

india Updated: Mar 04, 2018 07:03 IST
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah wave as they arrive to address party workers after their victory in Tripura elections at party headquarters in New Delhi on Saturday.(PTI Photo)

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) surged ahead of the ruling CPI(M) in the assembly elections in Left bastion Tripura on Saturday. By 6 pm, the BJP alliance had won 31 seats and was leading in four others, looking set to take control of the 60-member assembly. BJP leader Ram Madhav said in a press conference in Agartala that the results could be “historic”, though he cautioned against jumping to a conclusion before the final verdict was out.

Madhav also said his party, along with ally Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP), was in a good position in Nagaland, where the alliance has won 14 seats and is leading in 13. The ruling NPF has bagged 17 seats and is ahead in 8, while its partner NPP is leading in three.

In Meghalaya, the ruling Congress party established an early lead. By 5 pm, the Congress had won 20, the NPP bagged 17 and others won 16 seats.The BJP managed to bag two seats.

While the Congress has been ruling Meghalaya for 10 years, the Naga People’s Front has been in power in Nagaland since 2003, except for a three-month period of President’s rule in 2008. Tripura went to polls on February 18 and elections were held in Nagaland and Meghalaya on February 27.

Click here for full coverage, live election tally, election news and analyses

Here are the highlights:

10.50pm: NDPP-BJP alliance has secured near simple majority in Nagaland. We have support of 1 independent & 1 JD(U) member, that takes us to 32 seats. We are in a comfortable position to form next govt. NDPP-BJP alliance will stake its claim to form govt in next couple of days: BJP leader Ram Madhav.

9.45pm: Tripura CM Manik Sarkar wins Dhanpur seat by 5,441 votes, defeating his nearest rival Pratima Bhowmik of BJP.

8.50pm: After the BJP swept to power in Tripura ending the Left Front’s 25-year-rule, state party chief Biplab Kumar Deb said he was ready to take on the mantle of chief minister, but a decision on it would be taken by the party’s Parliamentary Board.

8.25pm: Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani praised the “visionary efforts” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the “organisational skills” of BJP president Amit Shah for the party’s performance in the Assembly polls in three northeast states.

8.10pm: Janata Dal (United) Nagaland has decided to support the BJP in Nagaland.

8pm:

7.30pm: BJP parliamentary board meeting underway at party headquarters in Delhi.

6.57pm: All parties, including BJP, will have to be alert and take care that Congress culture doesn’t seep in somehow, says Narendra Modi.

6.55pm: PM Modi congratulates Election Commission for conducting peaceful elections.

6.50pm: People spreading rumors and confusion were given the best reply democratically, says PM Modi.

6.46pm: Northeast people always felt that Delhi is far away from them, BJP has brought Delhi to their doorsteps: PM Modi.

6.44pm: I do not have the figures but I think the elected team in Tripura is the youngest ever team. Some of them were even scared that would be rejected on the grounds of their age. Such young candidates successfully won people’s confidence: PM Modi.

6.38pm: Election analysts in India will have to understand the journey from No one to Won, shunya se shikhar tak. When the sun sets it is red in color and when it rises it is saffron: PM Modi.

6.36pm: I am thankful to the voters of Northeast, It must be difficult to accept new govt and leaving the old rule behind. They must have gone through so much difficulty, so much that their anger vented out through voting, says PM Modi in victory speech.

6.32pm:

6.25pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi pauses his speech mid way at BJP Headquarters for azaan.

6.20pm: I would like to tell PM Modi that the path he is treading upon, 11 Crore members are standing behind him on that path: Amit Shah.

6.10pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives at BJP Headquarters in Delhi.

6pm: BJP wins majority in Tripura, winning 31 Assembly seats, is leading in four others: Election Commission.

5.40pm: The Election Commission website says results have been declared for 48 of 59 seats that went to polls in Tripura. The BJP-IPFT alliance has won 37 seats, and is leading in six. The CPI(M) has bagged 11 seats and is leading in five.

In Meghalaya, results have been declared for 59 seats. Of this, the Congress has won 20, the NPP has won 18, the BJP has bagged two and others have won 17 seats. The Congress maintains its lead in one seat and the NPP in one seat.

In Nagaland, the NDPP, which is in alliance with the BJP, has won six seats and is leading in 10, while the BJP has bagged nine seats and is leading in two. The ruling NPF has bagged 18 seats and is ahead in seven, while its partner NPP has bagged one seat.

5.30pm: With the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) set to form the government in the Tripura, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Saturday attacked the party for using “money power” in the recently-concluded assembly elections.

“BJP has, apart from other factors, utilised massive deployment of money and other resources to influence the elections. BJP was able to consolidate all the anti-Left votes virtually appropriating the erstwhile main opposition, Congress,” the CPI(M) said in a statement.

5.05pm: The Election Commission website says results have been declared for 45 of 59 seats that went to polls in Tripura. The BJP-IPFT alliance has won 34 seats, and is leading in nine. The CPI(M) has bagged 11 seats and is leading in five.

In Meghalaya, results have been declared for 55 seats. Of this, the Congress has won 20, the NPP has won 17, the BJP has bagged two and others have won 16 seats. The Congress maintains its lead in one seat and the NPP in two seats.

In Nagaland, the NDPP, which is in alliance with the BJP, has won six seats and is leading in 10, while the BJP has bagged eight seats and is leading in three. The ruling NPF has bagged 17 seats and is ahead in 8, while its partner NPP is leading in three.

4.35 pm: The Election Commission website says results have been declared for 37 of 59 seats that went to polls in Tripura. The BJP-IPFT alliance has won 27 seats, and is leading in 16. The CPI(M) has bagged 10 seats and is leading in six.

In Meghalaya, results have been declared for 45 seats. Of this, the Congress has won 16, the NPP has won 13, the BJP has bagged two and others have won 14 seats. The Congress maintains its lead in five seats and the NPP in six seats.

In Nagaland, the NDPP, which is in alliance with the BJP, has won five seats and is leading in 11. The ruling NPF has bagged 13 seats and is ahead in 11, while its partner NPP is leading in three. The BJP has bagged seven seats and is leading in four.

4.30pm: Manik Sarkar’s government was a failed one. No development took place in Tripura in the last 25 years, says Amit Shah.

4.25pm: Earlier, it was believed that BJP is restricted to the Hindi-speaking belt. Today’s results have shown that the claim is not true: Amit Shah.

BJP is not an all-India party, Shah adds.

4.20pm: BJP might have a clear majority in Tripura but we will also include other members of our alliance in the cabinet: BJP president Amit Shah.

4.15pm: In 2014, Narendra Modi had said western side of the nation has developed a lot but the same has not reached the eastern side yet. He immediately started his ‘Act East Policy’. I believe this is the victory of his policies, stamped by the 3 states of the northeast, Amit Shah says in a press conference.

4.05pm: BJP president Amit Shah on Saturday said the party’s victory in the Tripura assembly elections is a victory for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s politics of development.

“I thank brothers and sisters of Tripura for their massive support to the BJP. This is the victory for Modi’s politics of development and his commitment to the welfare of northeastern region of India,” Shah said in a tweet.

3.56pm: BJP candidate Biplab Deb wins the Banamalipur seat in Tripura with a margin of 9549 votes.

3.54pm: The historic victory in Tripura is as much an ideological one. It’s a win for democracy over brute force and intimidation. Today peace and non-violence has prevailed over fear. We will provide Tripura the good government that the state deserves, tweets PM Narendra Modi.

Modi also said that the people of the three states have spoken.

“I thank the people of these states for supporting the good governance agenda and ‘Act East Policy’ of @BJP4India & our valued allies. We remain committed to working towards fulfilling the dreams & aspirations of the people,” Modi tweeted.

3.50pm: BJP candidate Sudip Roy Barman wins Agartala constituency with a margin of 7382 votes.

3.42pm: Meghalaya chief minister Mukul Sangma on Saturday said the election results were not on expected lines and he would keep his cards close to his chest with regard to the Congress forming government in the state.

“The results were not on expected lines, but I am still looking forward,” Sangma told PTI.

3:37pm: The Election Commission website says results have been declared for 21 of 59 seats that went to polls in Tripura. The BJP-IPFT alliance has won 14 seats, and is leading in 29. The CPI(M) has bagged seven seats and is leading in nine. In Meghalaya, results have been declared for 31 seats. Of this, the Congress has won 12, the NPP has won five, the BJP has bagged two and other parties have won 12 seats. The Congress maintains its lead in nine seats and the NPP in 14 seats. In Nagaland, the NDPP, which is in alliance with the BJP, has won three seats and is leading in 12. The ruling NPF has bagged 10 seats and is ahead in 14, while its partner NPP is leading in three. The BJP has bagged three seats and is leading in seven.

3.30pm:

3:00pm: Tripura agriculture minister Aghore Debbarma (CPI-M) was defeated by a margin of 6,988 votes by his nearest rival Mevar Kumar Jamatiya of IPFT in Asharambari ST constituency, Election Commission sources said, according to PTI.

2:30pm: In Tripura, the BJP-IPFT alliance is leading in 35 seats and has won six seats, the Election Commission website says. The ruling CPI(M) stands diminished with one win and has a lead in 17 seats. In Meghalaya, results have been declared for 26 seats. Of this, the Congress has won 11, the NPP has won five and other parties have won nine seats. The Congress maintains its lead in nine and the NPP in 15 seats. The BJP, so far, has managed to bag one seat. In Nagaland, the NDPP, which is in alliance with the BJP, has won three seats and is leading in 12. The ruling NPF has bagged four seats and is ahead in 19, while its partner NPP leads in three.

2:00pm: BJP leader and North East Democratic Alliance convenor Himanta Biswa Sarma was sent to Shillong on Saturday by the party leadership to try and form a non-Congress government in Meghalaya amid likelihood of a split verdict, news agency IANS reports.

1:57pm: Want to learn more about the northeast elections outcome? Here is our pick of the top stories at this hour. Read on.

1:50pm: Tripura chief minister Manik Sarkar can take shelter in West Bengal, Kerala or neighbouring Bangladesh as the BJP is going to form the next government in the state, Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Saturday, according to PTI.

He also says if BJP chief Amit Shah is a student of post graduation then Congress president Rahul Gandhi is still in nursery class.

1:28pm: The BJP is now leading in 41 seats in Tripura even as the Left is ahead in 18 seats. In Meghalaya, the Congress has a lead in 22 seats, followed by the NPP in 16 and the BJP in eight seats. Candidates of other parties are leading in 17 seats. In Nagaland, the NDPP-BJP alliance is leading in 31 seats, while the NPF coalition is lead in 24 seats.

1:15pm: Nagaland CM TR Zeliang says he is confident of getting “majority along with our allies”. Zeliang belongs to the NPF camp, which supports the BJP government at the Centre but is fighting a BJP-NDPP alliance in the state.

“We are continuing our alliance (with BJP), we have not parted at any point of time. I have two ministers in my cabinet from the BJP. Some leaders of the BJP are in touch with us. Don’t know if NDPP will come back. Himanta Biswa Sarma, Kiren Rijiju are in talks with us. We welcome the BJP if they want to be part of the government,” he was quoted as saying by NDTV.

1:00pm: “In a way the entire northeast is now with the BJP. Initially we used to say ‘Congress mukt Bharat’. Now I think we can say ‘Vaampanth Mukt Bharat’ as well,” says Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. | ANI

Noon: Latest trends show the BJP has surged ahead in Tripura with a lead in 43 seats, pipping the Left, which is ahead in 16 seats. In Meghalaya, the Congress leads in 28 seats, followed by NPP in 10 and the BJP in eight seats. In Nagaland, the NDPP-BJP alliance is leading in 32 seats, while the NPF+ is ahead in 24 seats.

11:37am: The BJP holds a press conference in Tripura capital Agartala as vote-counting continues in three north-eastern states. BJP’s Ram Madhav says his party is on its way to form the government.

“We are satisfied. We’ll wait for the final verdict,” says Madhav, hoping to win 40+ seats in a “historic verdict”. The results are a testimony to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s hard work, he says, and also praises BJP chief Amit Shah. Madhav, however, says it won’t be prudent to jump to a conclusion since the final verdict is awaited.

Madhav also says the NDPP-BJP alliance is performing well in Nagaland. He says Meghalaya is heading for a divided house. The senior leader says the BJP parliamentary board will meet in the evening.

11:30am: NDPP’s Neikesalie Kire wins Kohima Town in Nagaland, BJP’s K Sangtam wins Seyochung Sitimi seat. BJP-NDPP alliance now have three confirmed wins in Nagaland. The BJP is headed for significant gains in the state. And irrespective of the outcome, the saffron party is sitting pretty.

11:26am: Uttar Pradesh chief minister and BJP leader Yogi Adityanath tells ANI: “BJP is all set for a historic win in Tripura, I would like to congratulate PM (Narendra) Modi, Amit Shah ji (BJP president) and our party workers. Even our performance in Nagaland and Meghalaya is historic. Important day in Indian politics.” 

11:24am: According to official results, incumbent Meghalaya CM Mukul Sangma wins both seats contested by him -- Ampati and Songsak.

11:22am: In Agartala, BJP’s Sudip Roy Barman is leading by 2,715 votes. Biplab Deb from Banamalipur is also ahead by over 5000 votes.

11:20am:The  BJP advances its lead by 19 seats in Tripura. Current tally in the state stands at: BJP -- 39, Left -- 20, Congress -- 0, Others -- 0  

The BJP’s vote share is 41% at present. To put things in perspective, in 2013 the BJP’s vote share was 1.54%, and 49 of its 50 candidates forfeited their deposits.

10:59am: Will Nagaland get its first woman MLA? Awan Konyak of the NDPP, one of the five women candidates in fray, is leading Eshak Konyak of the NPF by 1,320 votes in Aboi seat. Nagaland has never elected a woman MLA in the state’s 55-year history.

10:56am: Meghalaya updates >> Mukul Sangma (Congress) wins Songsak. Cherak Momin (Congress) wins Kharkutta and Pongseng Marak (NPP) wins Bajengdoba.

10:51am: Tripura CM Manik Sarkar is leading from Dhanpur constituency by 1,682 votes.

10:50am: Ampareen Lyngdoh of the Congress wins East Shillong (Meghalaya) by huge margin.

10:36am: Latest trends show the Left is ahead in 25 seats, while the BJP is leading in 34 in Tripura. In Meghalaya, the Congress is ahead in 21 seats, while the NPP leads in 15 and the BJP in six. In Nagaland, the NPF+ is leading in 32 seats, while the NDPP-BJP alliance is ahead in 24 seats.

10:30am: BJP’s Himanta Biswa Sarma says: “Trends are encouraging. I am hopeful and confident that BJP will form the government in Tripura.”

10:28am: “The trends in all three states point to a new political direction. It will have an effect on national politics as well. We are confident of forming government in all three,” says Union minister Kiren Rijiju, according to ANI.

10:24am: Latest updates from Meghalaya

10: 17am: How key candidates are faring

* Nagaland CM TR Zeliang of the Naga People’s Front leading NDPP’s Iherie Ndang by 954 votes in Peren seat.

* Meghalaya’s richest candidate, Ngaitlang Dhar of the NPP, is trailing Congress’s GB Lyngdoh in Umroi seat by 111 votes. Dhar, with assets over Rs 290 crore, had won the seat in 2013 on a Congress ticket.

* BJP’s Shanbor Shullai is leading Congress’s Manash Chaudhuri in South Shillong seat in Meghalaya by over 2,800 votes. Shullai had won the seat in 2013 on an NCP ticket. Chaudhuri, who was with the BJP, switched over to the Congress after he was denied a ticket.

* BJP’s potential CM candidate for Meghalaya, AL Hek, is trailing JB Basaiawmoit of the PDF in Pynthorumkhrah seat by 383 votes. Hek had won the seat as a Congress candidate in 2013.

10: 13am: The Congress party is lagging behind others in Nagaland and Tripura. The party, once a major player in northeast, is not leading in any seat in these two states.

10:04am: Latest trends in Meghalaya>> INC -- 14, NPP -- 6, UDP -- 4, Ind -- 3, BJP -- 1, PDF -- 3. BJP’s potential CM candidate, AL Hek, lags behind JB Basaiawmoit of the PDF in Pynthorumkhrah seat by 383 votes. Hek had won the seat as a Congress candidate in 2013.

9:55am: “We are very confident,” says CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat on election results in Tripura, where the Left appears to have a slender lead | ANI

9:47am: The ruling Naga People’s Front (NPF) leads in six seats, the BJP-NDPP alliance leads in five, and the NPP and the JD(U) in one seat each after one round of counting for 13 seats in Nagaland.

9:40am: “...I feel that in Tripura the BJP is going to do very well. In Nagaland too, our alliance is doing very well...,” BJP leader Ram Madhav says, reports ANI.

9:30am: Party-wise vote share in Meghalaya, where the ruling Congress appears to have an edge as of now. Official trends now available for 14 seats in Meghalaya. The BJP is ahead in one, Congress in seven, NPP in two and others are leading in four seats.

Source: EC website

9:25am: Meghalaya CM Mukul Sanga of the Congress now leading from both the seats--Ampati and Songsak--he is contesting.

9:18am: The ruling Naga People’s Front leading in two seats and BJP-NDPP alliance in one after the first round of counting in three seats in Nagaland.

9:10am: Latest trends show the Left is leading in 24 seats in Tripura, while the BJP is ahead in 26. In Meghalaya, the Congress and the NPP are leading in seven seats each, while the BJP has leads in three. In Nagaland, the NDPP-BJP alliance is now leading in nine seats.

Sudip Roy Burman, who won the Agartala seat in the last election on a Congress ticket, is leading from the same seat as a BJP candidate. Meghalaya’s chief minister and Congress leader Mukul Sangma is leading from his seat in Ampathi.

Nagaland’s former chief minister and NDPP candidate Neiphiu Rio, who is contesting in an alliance with the BJP, has won from the Northern Angami II seat.

9:04am: Tripura CM Manik Sarkar of the CPI(M) leading in Dhanpur seat. Meghalaya CM Mukul Sangma of the Congress leading in Ampati. He is contesting from two seats --- Ampati and Songsak.

8:50am: Latest trends show the CPI(M) is ahead in Tripura. It is leading in 14 seats, as compared to the 10 where the BJP is ahead. In Meghalaya, the ruling Congress is leading in three seats, the BJP and the NPP in one each, and others are leading in four seats.

8:35am: The Left and the BJP were neck-and-neck in Tripura, with the CPI(M) leading in six seats and the BJP leading in five seats. Tripura CM Manik Sarkar is leading from his seat in Dhanpur, according to TV reports. In Nagaland, the NDPP-BJP alliance is leading in one seat. In Meghlaya, the ruling Congress is leading in one seat.

8:18am: Friend turned foes in Nagaland

Nagaland saw over 90% polling in 2013 but this time, however, the figure was nearly 10% less due to either voter apathy or poll-related violence which claimed one life and injured three.

The battle here is between the ruling Naga People’s Front and an alliance comprising newly-formed Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) and the BJP.

Earlier this month, the BJP severed its 15-year-old alliance with NPF and joined hands with NDPP. The saffron party contested from 20 seats and NDPP from the rest 40.

The BJP had fielded 11 candidates in 2013 but secured just one seat and 1.75% of the total votes in that election with eight candidates forfeiting their deposits.

The exit polls say the BJP-NDPP combine will form the next government, but if NPF does well and manages to cobble up an alliance with Congress, NPP and others—the story could be different.

The NPF, with 47% vote share and 38 seats, retained power easily in 2013. But having lost the BJP as an ally and many party leaders joining the NDPP—the battle won’t be an easy one this time.

8:13am:

8:09am: Three-cornered fight in Meghalaya

As per exit polls, the race is expected to be very close in Meghalaya—with National People’s Party (NPP) likely to emerge as the single largest party.

The regional party, which is an ally of the National Democratic Alliance or NDA at the Centre, contested the Meghalaya elections without any pre-poll tie-up with the BJP. It had won just two seats in 2013.

The BJP’s total vote share was just 1.27% five years ago and all its 13 candidates forfeited their deposits. This time, the saffron party has fielded 47 candidates and hopes to be part of the next government.

If no party wins a clear majority, the BJP and NPP could come together to form a government. There’s also a likelihood of Congress forging alliances with other regional parties and Independent candidates to stop the BJP and the NPP.

Congress is hoping the well-attended rallies and road shows of party president Rahul Gandhi would help it cross the tally of 29 it managed in 2013 polls.

The United Democratic Party (UDP), Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP) and Garo National Council (GNC), which won 13 seats in 2013, and Independent candidates could prove to be decisive in government formation.

8:04am: Curfew imposed in Zunheboto and Wokha districts of Nagaland ahead of counting. One person was killed and three injured in a blast and clashes on the voting day in February 2.

8am: Counting of vote begins in Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland.

7:55am: Red vs saffron in Tripura

Tripura, which went to polls on February 18, recorded over 91% polling. The figures for Meghalaya and Nagaland, where voting took place on February 27, was nearly 85% and 80% respectively.

Chief minister Manik Sarkar is attempting a fifth consecutive term in office. The CPI(M)-led Left Front is expecting Sarkar’s clean image and performance would help them cross the halfway mark and more.

Unlike previous elections when the contest was between the Left Front and Congress, this time it’s a straight fight between the Left Front and the BJP-Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) alliance.

7:44am: All the three states have 60-member assemblies but polling took place in only 59 — after the deaths of candidates in Meghalaya and Tripura and the unopposed election of former chief minister Neiphiu Rio of Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party in Nagaland.

7:41am: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) -- a minor player till 2013 in these three states -- hopes to do exceedingly well and could even upset the entrenched players. Experts say anti-incumbency could be a major factor as the Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led Left Front has been in power in Tripura since 1993, Congress has been ruling Meghalaya since 2008 and Naga People’s Front (NPF) in Nagaland since 2003.

7:37am: As Meghalaya wakes up to the result day, Shillong SP D Marak says there is adequate security at counting centres and police hope there will be no untoward incident, reports news agency ANI.

Exit poll predictions

*The CVoter exit poll, along with that of Axis MyIndia and News24, predicts a stupendous rise of the BJP in Tripura. The Axis MyIndia and News24’s tally for the BJP-led NDA is 45-50 seats and 9-10 for the CPI (M)-led Left Front. According to the CVoter exit poll, there might be a neck-and-neck fight between the BJP — which has an alliance with IPFT — and the Left in Tripura. The CPI(M) is predicted to get 26-34 seats and the BJP’s alliance will get 24 to 32 seats in the 60-member assembly.

*In Meghalaya, the CVoter exit poll gives the ruling Congress 13-19 seats, while according to the Axis MyIndia’s exit poll, the Congress will emerge as the single largest party with 20 votes. The local outfit NPP will get 14, while the BJP is tipped to get 5 seats. In CVoter’s estimate, the NPP will get 17-23 seats and the BJP 4-8 seats in Meghalaya. Political observers believe a good show by the NPP and the BJP will open the possibility of a post-poll alliance between these two parties.

*In Nagaland, the CVoter exit poll gave the BJP-led NDA 25-31 seats ahead of the NPF with 19-25 seats and the Congress with 0-4 seats. Axis MyIndia did not predict absolute numbers saying “Nagaland was a very difficult state to conduct exit poll survey.” But it said that NPF has an edge. Meghalaya and Nagaland also have 60 assembly seats.

First Published: Mar 03, 2018 00:11 IST