Both CPI-M, BJP confident of forming government in Tripura

The stage is set for counting of votes on Saturday for the Assembly elections in northeastern states of Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland.

Tripura went to polls on February 18, while elections were held in Meghalaya and Nagaland on February 27. The exit poll predictions, if they turn out correct, will also bring an RSS-affiliate proposed Naga peace plan that has gained some traction and sparked a bit of a row centrestage.

The elections were countermanded in Charilam constituency in Tripura and Williamnagar of Meghalaya following death of candidates. The UDP-HSPDP likely to bag 8-12 seats and 8.8. per cent vote share, while others may get 5-9 seats and a vote share of 8.7 per cent, the poll said.

The Congress may want to look away now: According to C-Voter, its vote share will be 19.7 per cent, and 4 seats. Back in early 2014, Election Metrics had analysed several general elections in India (at the state level) to show that in a two-cornered contest, small margins in vote shares can lead to big differences in seats.

One of the seats, Northern Angami-II, has already been won by NDPP chief Neiphiu Rio unopposed.

The alliance between the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) and the BJP is projected to get 38.4 per cent of all votes and 25 to 31 Assembly seats. Counting of votes in all the three states will begin amid tight security at 8 AM and first trends are expected to pour in an hour or so.

It added that the Left parties would win in 15 out of 20 Scheduled Tribe reserved seats. "We replaced or rectified faulty EVM-VVPATs and voting resumed in those polling stations afterwards", said Additional Chief Electoral Officer Tapas Roy.

They, however, have indicated a hung assembly in Congress-ruled Meghalaya, which often gives a fractured mandate in elections. The Congress has fielded 59 candidates, while the BJP put up nominees in 47 constituencies. The exit poll suggests that Congress is likely to win 13-19 seats in the Meghalaya assembly elections.

A complex ethnic divide with a plethora of parties has led the state to deep uncertainties with regard to the electoral outcome in all the Assembly elections, including this one.

The CVoter poll predicts a 7.2%vote share for the Congress, while the other two polls have grouped the party with "Others", predicting it will get a low vote share. The other prominent candidates are Biplab Deb (BJP) and Birajit Sinha (Congress).

We've seen cases of parties getting over 40% votes and ending up with a handful of seats, and other cases of similar vote share leading to a landslide win.

Add that to the vote and seat share projections for the BJP - 16.6 per cent, and 4-8 seats, respectively and the Meghalaya Congress has good reason to be anxious.

In picture: Nagaland Chief Minister TR Zeliang (right) with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

  • Wendy Palmer