BJP-NDPP set to take Nagaland; uncertainty in Meghalaya

Senior Congress leaders Kamal Nath and Ahmed Patel rush to Shillong to muster the numbers; BJP dispatches Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma

Published: 04th March 2018 05:47 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th March 2018 05:47 AM   |  A+A-

NPP candidate James Sangma displays victory sign on Saturday after winning Dadenggre constituency in Meghalaya. | PTI

By Express News Service

GUWAHATI/NEW DELHI: With the elections throwing up hung Assemblies in Nagaland and Meghalaya, the post-poll scenario is interestingly poised in both the Christian-majority states. The ruling Congress was the single-largest party winning 21 of the 60 seats in Meghalaya but it is not a certainty that it can form the government. Similarly, despite emerging as the single largest party winning 27 of the 60 seats, the ruling Naga People’s Front (NPF) in Nagaland may not be able to muster majority.

The BJP-Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) combine looks set to form the next government. Their chances brightened after the JD(U) committed support. The support took their tally to 30. They are also likely to be backed by PA Sangma-founded National People’s Party (NPP) besides the lone Independent. The NDPP came a distant second with 17 seats.

The BJP won 12 seats. The rest of the seats were bagged by JD (U)-1, NPP-2 and Independent-1. In Meghalaya, election to the Williamnagar seat was countermanded as the NCP candidate died. The Congress won 21 seats, followed by NPP-19, United Democratic Party- 6, People’s Democratic Front-4, BJP-2, Hill State People’s Democratic Party-2, NCP-1, Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement-1 and Independent-3. The ruling Meghalaya United Alliance had the Congress, NCP and around a dozen Independent MLAs as constituents.

The Congress is likely to seek support of regional parties. Similarly, the BJP-NPP combine will try to cobble up majority. With possible horse-trading looming large, the Congress has rushed senior leaders Kamal Nath and Ahmed Patel to the state to muster the numbers. “We are the single largest party in Meghalaya. The BJP has remained at just two seats. We are confident of forming a government,” Patel said. Similarly, the BJP sent Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. Union minister Kiren Rijiju claimed he was in touch with the UDP and it would support the BJP.

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