BJP and its allies could not save their reputation in North East states, Congress made a comeback

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its National Democratic Alliance (NDA) allies lost some ground while the Congress made a comeback on Tuesday with 24 seats in seven northeastern states. BJP candidates won 13 seats while its allies in Assam, the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and the United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL), won one seat each, taking the NDA’s tally to 15.

On the other hand, the Congress won seven seats. Voice of People Party (VPP) and Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM), which are regional parties and are not part of the NDA or India Bloc, won one seat each. In 2019, the BJP won 14 seats on its own, while its allies Mizo National Front (MNF), Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP), Naga People’s Front (NPF) and National People’s Party (NPP) won one seat each – taking the NDA’s tally to 18.

The Congress won four seats, followed by the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) and an Independent. In Assam, which has the highest number of seats in the region – 14, the BJP won nine seats (the same as in 2019), and its allies the AGP and the UPPL won one each. The Congress won three seats – the same number it had won five years ago. Prominent BJP winners in Assam include Union minister and former Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal (Dibrugarh), who defeated Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP) president Lurinjyoti Gogoi.

“The results in Assam are as per our expectations. The mandate is very clear that voters in the state and across India want another term for Narendra Modi as prime minister,” Sonowal said. Congress deputy leader in the outgoing Lok Sabha Gaurav Gogoi won the Jorhat seat defeating sitting BJP MP Topon Kumar Gogoi. In Dhubri, Congress candidate Rakibul Hussain defeated AIUDF president Badruddin Ajmal by a huge margin of nearly nine lakh votes.

Gaurav Gogoi said, “This is a victory of the people and democracy. I want to thank all the voters, especially the new voters. This is a new beginning for Assam and its people.”

Both sitting BJP MPs in Arunachal Pradesh, Union minister Kiren Rijiju in Arunachal West and Tapir Gao in Arunachal East, won their seats. Rijiju defeated state Congress president and former chief minister Nabam Tuki by over one lakh votes, while Gao ousted Bosiram Siram, the Congress working president in the state, by a margin of 30,421 votes.

The ruling BJP suffered a setback in Manipur, where Congress candidate Bimol Akoijam defeated state Education Minister T Basanta Kumar Singh by over a lakh votes in the Inner Manipur parliamentary constituency. Akoijam got 370,678 votes and Singh got 262,217 votes. In the Outer Manipur seat, BJP ally NPF candidate KT Jimik lost to Alfred KS Arthur of the Congress by 82,629 votes. Arthur got 380,793 votes while Jimik got 298,164 votes. In 2019, the BJP had won the Inner Manipur seat while the NPF had won the Outer Manipur seat. Manipur Congress president K Meghchandra Singh said, “The decision in favour of the Congress on both the seats (in Manipur) reflects the frustration of the voters against the BJP government at the Centre and the state.”

In Tripura, the BJP registered a clean sweep by winning both seats with huge margins. Former chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb won the Tripura West seat by defeating Congress state president Ashish Kumar Saha by a margin of over six lakh votes. In Tripura East, Kriti Devi Debbarman, sister of Tipra Motha chief Pradyot Debbarman, defeated Communist Party of India (Marxist) candidate Rajendra Reang by over 4.86 lakh votes.

In 2019, the BJP won both these seats. Rebati Tripura won from Tripura East, while Pratima Bhowmik won the Tripura West seat. In Nagaland’s only Lok Sabha seat, Congress candidate S Supongmeiren Jamir defeated ruling Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) candidate Chumben Muri by over 50,000 votes. Muri has the support of all 60 candidates in the state assembly, including those of the ruling BJP. In 2019, the NDPP won this seat.

In Mizoram, Richard Vanlalhmangaiha, a candidate of the ruling Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM), defeated K Vanlalvena of the Mizo National Front (MNF) by 66,845 votes. The NDA ally MNF had won the seat in 2019. In Meghalaya, Voice of People Party (VPP) candidate Ricky Andrew J Singkon defeated sitting Congress MP Vincent H Pala in Shillong seat by over 3.7 lakh votes.

In Tura seat, Congress candidate Saleng A Sangma defeated sitting National People’s Party MP Agatha Sangma by over 1.5 lakh votes. In 2019, the Congress had won the Shillong seat while the NPP had won the Tura seat. VPP president Ardent Miller Basaiwmoit told HT, “Our victory shows that voters in Meghalaya are fed up with both the Congress and the National People’s Party, which is part of the NDA, and are demanding a change. We are yet to decide whether to support the NDA or India at the Centre.”

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