In Nagaland, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) alliance and the ruling Naga People’s Front (NPF) battled it out.
Referring to the spectacular win, ousting the Left from 25 years of power and the BJP surge in the northeast, Modi said: “When the sun sets its colour turns red, when it rises it is absolute saffron”.
In each of the three states, a party will need 31 seats to get a majority and form the government. It should not come as a surprise then that the 20-year-old CPI (M) government in Tripura had to go because the BJP offered an alternative. NPP is following closely behind.
Jain felt that the win may brighten BJP’s prospects in upcoming state elections, including Karnataka, which is governed by the Indian National Congress (INC). Its ally IPFT, which fielded candidates in nine seats, got almost 8 per cent votes.
Taking a swipe at BJP leaders and activists, the Bengal Chief Minister said: “Some are trying to highlight BJP’s victory in Tripura but it is not a big thing”. Both the optics and delivery have found resonance among the people of the NER, especially the youth, who were eager for development after weariness of the insurgency and perceived neglect.
The result could have been different had Rahul Gandhi agreed to an alliance with the Trinamool Congress and local hill parties, she said and claimed the poll results will not help the BJP in the upcoming assembly elections in several states.
The CPI (M), in a press statement, said the “BJP has, apart from other factors, utilized massive deployment of money and other recources to influence the elections”.
Just before Deb in Tripura, the party created another leader (who few had head of) – Jairam Thakur in Himachal Pradesh, after P K Dhumal failed to win a state election. On the other hand, the BJP-led alliance succeeded in winning 43 seats in the assembly elections of 2018.
The Congress has not won a single seat in the state. The results certainly show that selecting these issues has worked for BJP. There could be many reasons for this, and it is not the failing of the CPI (M) alone.
Polling was countermanded in one seat after the CPI (M) candidate died.
It had secured less than two per cent votes in the 2013 Assembly polls in the state. Shah said, “The golden period will start once the BJP forms the government in these states”.
Three of the eight northeastern states (Nagaland, Meghalaya and Mizoram) are Christian majority where the party’s positions on Hindutva and beef could have impacted voting intentions.