Supporters of Prime Minister Narendra Modi await his arrival during a roadshow in Varanasi, India, April 25, 2019. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi
Agartala/Guwahati, May 24 (IANS) Powered by the “Modi wave”, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was alone set to win 14 of the 25 Lok Sabha seats in eight northeastern states, against 8 in the 2014 polls.
With three NDA constituents – the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) of Nagaland, the Mizo National Front (MNF) in Mizoram, the National People’s Party (NPP) in Meghalaya – winning three seats, the tally of National Democratic Alliance (NDA) would be 17 against 11 in 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
On the other hand, the Congress, which had a strong base in all the northeastern states but currently no government under its rule in the region, had won or was set to win only four seats (three in Assam and one in Meghalaya) against eight in 2019.
The counting of votes, which started at 8 a.m. on Thursday morning, was on till midnight in many of the region’s 25 Lok Sabha seats.
In Assam, the ruling BJP had either won or was leading on in nine Lok Sabha seats, while the Congress won or was ahead three seats this time like in 2014, including Kaliabor which was won by former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi’s son Gaurav Gogoi. However, All India Women Congress President Sushmita Dev lost her Silchar seat to BJP’s Rajdeep Roy.
The Assam-based All India United Democratic Front, which had won three seats last time, was leading in only one seat — Dhubri — where party supremo Badruddin Ajmal was in the fray. In the tribal-dominated Kokrajhar constituency, Independent sitting Lok Sabha member Naba Kumar Sarania is leading with a significant margin over Pramila Rani Brahma of Bodo Peoples’ Front (BPF), an ally of BJP in Assam.
Like outgoing Lok Sabha, the two BJP allies, the BPF and the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), would be no representation in the Lok Sabha this time too.
The ruling BJP set to win both the Lok Sabha seats in Arunachal Pradesh — Tapir Gao (Arunachal East) and Kiren Rijiju ((Arunachal West). The BJP wrested the Arunachal East from the Congress while the party retained the Arunachal West constituency.
In its maiden victory in Tripura’s Lok Sabha battle, the ruling BJP, which in alliance with the tribal Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura, wrested power in the state in the 2018 Assembly polls, is on the verge of winning both the state’s two seats.
In Manipur, both the Inner Manipur and Outer Manipur seats were wrested by the BJP’s Rajkumar Ranjan Singh and Naga Peoples Front candidate Lorho S. Pfoze respectively from the Congress.
In Meghalaya, former Union Minister and National People’s Party (NPP) candidate Agatha Sangma won the Tura Lok Sabha seat, while sitting Congress MP Vincent Pala retained the Shillong seat.
Sangma, the younger sister of Chief Minister Conrad Sangma and daughter of former Lok Sabha Speaker late Purno Sangma, defeated her nearest rival and former Chief Minister Mukul Sangma of the Congress by a margin of 63,775 votes.
In Sikkim, putting up a stunning electoral performance, the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) nominee Indra Hang Subba wrested state’s lone Lok Sabha seat from ruling Sikkim Democratic Front defeating Dek Bahadur Katwal by a margin of 11,585 votes.