BJP, Left In Close Fight In Tripura, Congress Leads In Meghalaya: 10 Points

 
BJP, Left In Close Fight In Tripura, Congress Leads In Meghalaya: 10 Points

 

AGARTALA/KOHIMA/SHILLONG:  The BJP and the ruling CPM are neck and neck as votes are counted in Tripura, where the BJP hopes to end the two-decade run of the Left party's Manik Sarkar as chief minister. In Meghalaya, the ruling Congress has pulled well ahead of regional party NPP, while in Nagaland is witnessing another close battle between the ruling Naga People's Front and the BJP and its new ally Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party. Counting began at 8 this morning for assembly elections in the three Northeastern states.
Here is your 10-point guide to the Northeast election results 2018:
At 10 am, the BJP and Left were leading in 29 seats each, the Left 18 down from the last elections and the BJP gaining all 29 since it had won no seat in 2013. The Congress, which had won 10 seats last time, is leading in none. 
Tripura has 60 assembly seats and a party needs 31 to win a majority and form government. Meghalaya and Nagaland too have 60 seats each and a party needs 31 to win.  
The BJP campaigned hard for these elections seeking to further consolidate its position in the Northeast, recently bolstered by the party forming government in Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh. The seventh Northeast state, Mizoram, ruled by the Congress, will vote later this year.
The CPM admits it has been stretched in a tough battle this time by the BJP in Tripura, but has asserted that Manik Sarkar, famous as the country's "poorest chief minister," will win a fifth straight term.
It's a crucial election for the Left party which is now in power only in Tripura and Kerala after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee ended its three-decade rule in West Bengal seven years ago.
Also desperate not to let the number of states it holds dwindle further is the Congress, whose Mukul Sangma has struggled with dissidence in the run-up to the elections.
The BJP and its regional allies from the state like the National People's Party (NPP) founded by former Lok Sabha Speaker PA Sangma and the United Democratic Party are contesting separately. 
Votes are being counted for only 59 seats in Meghalaya and Tripura. Elections were cancelled in one seat each in the two states because of the death of candidates. These will be held later.
In Nagaland, former chief minister Neiphiu Rio has been elected unopposed from his seat Northern Angami II as his rival withdrew his nomination. 
The election is seen as a battle between Chief Minister TR Zeliang of the NPF and Mr Rio, once his colleague but who has now launched his own party, the NDPP and partnered with the BJP.  

Source: (ndtv.com)