Home >Politics >Policy >Left Front retains Tripura; NPF, Congress win in Nagaland, Meghalaya

Agartala: The Left, Congress and the Naga People’s Front (NPF) retained power in the northeastern states Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland respectively, overcoming the so-called anti-incumbency factor.

While the Communist Party of India-Marxist or CPM-led Left Front marked a landslide victory with 49 of 60 seats to hold on to the only state it rules, the Congress fell short of two seats for an absolute majority in Meghalaya. The NPF won an absolute majority for the third consecutive time, winning 12 more seats than the last time. Congress fared poorly in Nagaland, where it lost 10 seats. It was unable to improve its tally in Tripura.

The Manik Sarkar-led Left Front government won its fifth straight term since 1993 in Tripura. CPM ally Forward Bloc won the Nalhati seat in West Bengal, wresting it away from the Congress in a by-election. The CPM said the victories reflects the “re-emergence" of the Left parties.

Political observers, however, do not see the electoral verdict in these three states having much bearing on national politics.

However, Gautam Chakma, associate professor at the department of political science in Tripura University, said: “The CPM will definitely showcase Tripura when they go to West Bengal and Kerala (two other states where the Left is strong) as they have done exceptionally well in the state."

Congress’ performance, despite newly appointed vice president Rahul Gandhi’s campaign, has been discouraging, said a party leader, who did not want to be identified. Chakma added: “Most people, especially those from urban areas, expected Congress to do better, but that did not happen. In contrast, CPM has taken all strategies to town and it worked for them."

The main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) did not have much stakes in these states. However, the BJP, which was in alliance with NPF in Nagaland won one seat while its ally Janata Dal-United also bagged one seat.

In Meghalaya, the results are a boost for Congress chief minister Mukul Sangma, who faced stiff opposition from veteran P.A. Sangma, who quit the Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party to form the National People’s Party last year. But NPP managed to get only two seats.

All three states have 60 constituencies each. Only 59 went to the polls in Nagaland as the election to the Teunsang Sadar seat was countermanded following the death of Congress candidate P. Chuba Chang, a day before the 23 February polls.

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