Exit Polls: BJP poised to further 'modi'fy northeast
The BJP is likely to continue its dominance in Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland.
GUWAHATI: Going by exit polls, the BJP is likely to continue its dominance in Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland. Exit polls have gone wrong in the past is another matter.
The exit polls predicted victories for the BJP in Tripura, BJP-NDPP (Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party) combine in Nagaland and suggested an edge for the National People’s Party (NPP) in Meghalaya.
The BJP, which rules Tripura, is a major constituent of Neiphiu Rio’s NDPP-led ruling coalition in Nagaland and a minor component in the NPP-headed six-party ruling coalition in Meghalaya.
Considering that general elections are scheduled for next year, the BJP is desperate to retain power in Tripura. Despite skepticism about its tasting victory in the state, the party’s narrative of development and past failures of Congress and Left governments seemed to have reassured the voters.
The BJP had a star-studded campaign with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union home minister Amit Shah and Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma leading the charge. The party had highlighted the various development initiatives and achievements of the Modi government as it went to polls.
The BJP claimed or projected itself as a party that has managed to ensure peace and end discrimination when it came to the execution of government welfare schemes.
If the exit poll predictions come true, it will prove once again that the people have rejected the Congress-Left alliance. The two parties had managed to bury their differences and face the people ahead of the polls.
In Meghalaya, the contest was between the NPP and the Trinamool Congress (TMC). The BJP, which went all guns blazing this election, is expected to improve upon its 2018 tally of two seats.
The TMC invested heavily in the state to dislodge the “corruption-tainted” Conrad K Sangma government. The party had a backdoor entry into the state when 12 Congress MLAs had jumped ship in November 2021. Four had ditched it ahead of the polls.
As the TMC was leading an aggressive campaign, the NPP went to people with the narrative that the TMC is a party of “outsiders” which protects "illegal immigrants." The oblique reference was to the TMC’s anti-NRC stance.
In Nagaland, the NDPP-BJP combine was expected to capitalize on a moribund Opposition and retain power.
The Naga People’s Front (NPF), which ruled the state from 2003-18, got disintegrated last year when 21 of its 26 MLAs defected to NDPP.
The Congress was a formidable force under former Chief Minister SC Jamir but got reduced to a shadow of its glorious past in the aftermath of NPF’s emergence as a powerhouse 20 years ago. The strength of NPF and Congress can be gauged from the fact that they contested only 22 and 23 seats respectively. The state has 60 seats.