Ruling parties in lead as counting underway in Tripura, Meghalaya, Nagaland
The BJP was ahead in 24 seats in Tripura, the NDPP in 17 in Nagaland, and the NPP in Meghalaya in 17 of the 60 seats each
Ruling parties were in the lead as the counting of votes polled in Tripura, Meghalaya, and Nagaland assembly elections last month began on Thursday.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was ahead in 24 seats in Tripura, the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) in 17 in Nagaland, and the National People’s Party (NPP) in Meghalaya in 17. All three states have 60-member assemblies.
The polls were the first elections in key states this year, which will set the stage for the 2024 national elections.
Voting in Tripura was held on February 16, and in Meghalaya and Nagaland on February 27. Around 86% of the total 6.1 million registered voters voted in three states.
The Congress and its ally Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPI (M) were leading in 18 seats in Tripura, according to the Election Commission of India website. The Tipra Motha was also ahead in 11 seats.
Chief Minister Manik Saha was leading in the Town Bardowali seat over his nearest Congress rival Ashish Kumar Saha by 344 votes. Congress leader Sudip Roy Barman was ahead of BJP’s Papia Dutta by 1,670 votes.
BJP state president Rajib Bhattacharjee was trailing by over 300 votes in the Banamalipur seat as Congress candidate Gopal Roy took a lead.
In Khayerpur, CPI(M)’s Pabitra Kar was leading by around 3,000 votes over assembly speaker Ratan Chakraborty of the BJP. CPI(M) state secretary Jitendra Chowdhury was leading by 660 votes against BJP’s Sankar Roy in Sabroom.
The ruling NDPP-BJP alliance appeared to be marching ahead in Nagaland. According to early trends, the NDPP-BJP was ahead in 25 seats while the Naga People’s Front (NPF) was leading in one seat.
Counting of votes started at 8am with postal ballots.
The NDPP and BJP contested the elections on a 40:20 seat-sharing basis. NPF contested 22 seats and the Congress, which ruled the state till 2003, 23. Most exit polls predicted the NDDP-BJP alliance would return to power in Nagaland.
The ruling NPP in Meghalaya was leading in 19 seats, while the opposition Trinamool Congress (TMC) was ahead in five. Meghalaya has 60 seats. The polling in the Sohiong seat was postponed due to the death of a candidate.
Exit polls predicted a hung assembly. Chief minister Conrad K Sangma met his Assam counterpart, Himanta Biswa Sarma, of the BJP on Tuesday, fuelling speculations of a post-poll tie-up.
Sangma’s NPP and the BJP ran the last government together but fought the elections on their own.
(With PTI Inputs)