• Any elections in the country from now on are going to be keenly assessed, closely watched, and ready inferences arrived at since the mother of all elections i.e. the Lok Sabha polls will be happening in 2024. Needless to mention, all regional and national political parties are gearing up in their own ways to ensure their presence is felt, extended, and accepted. Of course, the BJP’s election machinery is perpetually on the move with hitherto unseen single-minded determination to march ahead. Got to admire how the BJP’s leadership does not take anything for granted or allow complacency to set in in their resolve. Admirably, the BJP as a party never feels satisfied even with the eventual winning outcome but prepares for the next with equal seriousness.
• This year nine states will witness assembly elections and the three northeastern states have already provided results as well. There are no surprises vis-à-vis results either. As expected, election results for the three northeastern states are another testament to BJP’s will to win and Congress’s inability to exploit anti-incumbency. Indeed, the BJP has successfully altered the anti-incumbency perception by relentlessly countering with the pro-incumbency claims. Moreover, BJP’s standout Tripura performance shows that the party is now a genuine N-E player. Despite facing massive anti-incumbency till a year ago, the party not only managed to turn things around with new CM Manik Saha but also staved off the challenge from the Left-Congress combine.
• And there was Tipra Motha, the X-factor in the polls, who pulled away a massive chunk of the tribal vote from BJP ally IPFT, which was reduced to just a single seat from the eight it had won in 2018. However, Motha’s 13-seat tally could have increased further with a seat-sharing arrangement with the Left-Congress alliance. Interestingly, in as many as seven tribal seats, BJP gained the upper hand because the Left and Motha split the votes. Likewise, in Nagaland, the NDPP-BJP alliance re-emerges stronger thanks to a collapse of the opposition NPF from 26 to two seats. Notably, it is CM Neiphiu Rio who has gained stature, having increased NDPP’s tally from 18 to 25 while BJP holds on to 12.
• Looking at Meghalaya shows that the state has thrown up a hung assembly with NPP emerging as the single-largest party with 26 seats. And while the party could again ally with BJP, which is most likely, with a view to corner central benefits, acrimony between the two during the campaign and the performance of other parties gives CM Conrad Sangma multiple options for government formation. Nonetheless, Congress is the clear loser in these polls drawing a blank in Nagaland, queering the pitch for the Left in Tripura, and failing to prevent the damaging defection of leader Mukul Sangma to TMC in Meghalaya. Yes, that’s bad news for the grand old party, which now faces more pressure in other elections this year. Bharat Jodo Yatra had little effect, apparently.