North-East Elections: Three States To Vote In February

This time, the BJP plans to fight in 20 seats and support NDPP candidates in 40 others in the 2023 elections. The BJP feels the partial lifting of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) may work in their favour. In 2018, it won 12 seats.

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Northeast India (officially North Eastern Region, NER) is the easternmost region of India representing both a geographic and political administrative division of the country. It comprises eight states – Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura (togetherly known as “Seven Sister States”) and one brother state Sikkim.
The elections have been announced for three states.
Tripura will vote for a new government on February 16th, and Meghalaya and Nagaland on the 27th, with results on March 2, the Election Commission announced on Wednesday.
While the three northeastern states are the first to have assembly polls this year, a special focus will be on Tripura, which the BJP won for the first time in 2018.
The terms of all three state assemblies, each with a strength of 60 members, end in March – Nagaland on March 12, Meghalaya on March 15 and Tripura on March 22.
The poll schedule of the three states was chalked out keeping in mind high school examinations and the movement of security forces, reports said.
Political profile of the North-East states
While Tripura has a BJP government, in Nagaland, the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party is in power.
The National People’s Party, the only party from the Northeast to have a national status, runs the government in Meghalaya.
TRIPURA (60 SEATS)
In the 2018 elections, the BJP won 33 seats, the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) 4, the CPM 15, and the Congress one. Six seats are vacant.
In its 2018 victory, the BJP ended the long Left rule and Biplab Deb became the Chief Minister. But the party had to remove him in May 2022 over performance issues and made Dr Manik Saha the new CM. Saha also faces the challenge of ironing out the differences growing within the state unit.
Besides, the BJP’s relationship with its key ally — tribal outfit Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura (IPFT) – is on the rocks. Union home minister Amit Shah recently visited the state to sort these issues out and flagged off Jana Vishwas Yatra to mobilise support for the party.
On the other hand, the Left and the Congress have come together in Tripura, like they did, unsuccessfully, in West Bengal in 2021, to defeat the BJP.
Meanwhile, former Congresswoman Sushmita Dev is TMC’s go-to person in Tripura. The party has been trying to increase its presence in the state. TMC chief and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee has visited Tripura and will do so again as the campaign picks up.
MEGHALAYA (60 SEATS)
Conrad Sangma of the National People’s Party (NPP) is the Chief Minister. The NPP has 20 seats, the United Democratic Party (UDP) 8, the People’s Democratic Front (PDF) 2, the BJP 2 and 2 are Independents. The Opposition TMC has 9 seats. Who came from the Congress along with Mukul Sangama Fourteen seats are vacant.
The Congress emerged as the largest party in the Meghalaya assembly election in 2018, but its tally of 21 seats fell short of the halfway mark in the 60-member legislature.
The BJP supported the NPP to form the government in the state. Conrad Sangma became the chief minister. Recently, fissures surfaced between the NPP and the BJP. In a spur-of-the-moment reaction, Sangma had said his party would go it alone on all the seats in 2023. Recently, two MLAs resigned from the NPP and joined the saffron party.
The BJP in 2018 had won only two seats. The party aims to lead the coalition government this time. The coalition partners are trying to mend fences among themselves. Himanta Biswa Sarma, who jumped ship from the grand old party to BJP in 2015 and is now North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) convenor, can play a crucial role in improving the ties between the allies.
NAGALAND (60 seats)
The Ruling coalition United Democratic Alliance (UDA) has the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP), the BJP and Naga People’s Front (NPF). Neiphiu Rio of the NDPP is the Chief Minister.
The NDPP-BJP alliance, formed ahead of the 2018 polls, is going strong in Nagaland. There is no opposition in Nagaland. 21 NPF MLAs joined the UDA. In 2018, the NPF got 26 seats, the NDPP 18, the BJP 12, the NPP 2, the JDU 1 and 1 is Independent.
This time, the BJP plans to fight in 20 seats and support NDPP candidates in 40 others in the 2023 elections. The BJP feels the partial lifting of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) may work in their favour. In 2018, it won 12 seats.
The elections to these three states offer an interesting perspective.

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