Stakes High In The 3 North East States

Posted March 03, 2018

Two exit polls, conducted by JanKiBaat-NewsX and AxisMyIndia have tipped the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-Indigenous People's Front of Tripura (IPFT) alliance to win the just-concluded assembly elections in Tripura.

Tripura went to polls on February 18, while elections were held in Meghalaya and Nagaland on February 27.

Though the strength of each of the Assemblies in the three states is 60 members, voting was held for 59 constituencies in all of them, for different reasons.

Balloting in the Charilam (reserved for the tribals) has been deferred to March 12 after the death of a CPI-M candidate.

In Meghalaya, the election was countermanded in Williamnagar in the wake of the killing of candidate.

In Tripura, over 92 per cent voters had exercised their franchise in the elections, setting a new record. For the first time, Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma is contesting from two seats.

In Nagaland, BJP has joined hands with the NDPP that was floated by former chief minister Neiphiu Rio.

In Tripura, which went to polls on February 18, the BJP has emerged as a strong contender in all the three states and two exit polls have predicted that the party would dethrone the 25-year-old Left Front government in Tripura and consolidate its position in the other two states.

Ahead of the counting of votes in the state, the Border Security Force (BSF) personnel have been deployed along the India-Bangladesh border.

The party had contested 50 seats in the last assembly polls in 2013 and its candidates forfeited their deposits on 49 seats. "We replaced or rectified faulty EVM-VVPATs and voting resumed in those polling stations afterwards", said Additional Chief Electoral Officer Tapas Roy.

According to political experts, Tripura - which had earlier witnessed electoral battle between the CPM and the Congress - will be witnessing a fight for power between the saffron party and the Left in the upcoming elections. A total of 372 candidates contested the Meghalaya assembly elections.

To the advantage of the Congress it has fielded candidates in all the constituencies, followed by the NPP in 52 constituencies, the BJP in 47 and the UDP in 35.

The agency predicted that the BJP alliance would win in 24 to 32 seats with a vote share of 42.8 per cent.

The CVoter survey has predicted a victory for the BJP-NDPP with the combine likely to get 25-31 seats with 38.4 per cent vote share. The Congress might win in two seats with a 7.2 per cent vote share, CVoter predicted. In Nagaland, while NPF contested in 58 seats, NDPP in 40 seats and debutant National People's Party (NPP) in 25 seats.

The BJP had given a call for Chalo Paltai ( let's change) at the hustings in an all-out bid to wrest the state from Manik Sarkar whose charisma as a simple and humble chief minister helped the Left return to power in successive elections.