The ‘look east’ policy of Prime Minister Modi has paid dividends. It may be a hat-trick of sorts, considering that the BJP and its alliance partners have crossed the majority threshold in both Tripura and Nagaland, whereas in Meghalaya, incumbent Chief Minister Conrad Sangma's NPP won 26 out of the 60 seats and is likely to return to power with support from the BJP, which won three seats in the state.
The BJP has retained Tripura and Nagaland for the second term while Meghalaya has a hung assembly with the Conrade Sangma-led National People's Party (NPP) emerging as the single-largest party.
Alliance with Sangma likely
As the results trickled in, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said he will take a final call on an alliance with Sangma. This is to give the BJP a free run in all the eight states of the Northeast.
The BJP has consolidated its hold on the Northeast with governments in as many as 7 out of 8 states responding to his overtures. The Congress, which once held a formidable position in the Northeast, failed to make a mark in any of the three states that went to polling this year.
Setback for Congress
The biggest setback for the Congress was in the multi-cornered contest in Meghalaya. While the party was the single-largest in 2018, this year it saw its seat share slump to single digits.
All this does not augur well for the Congress, as at least six more Assemblies are going to polls in 2023, starting with the most crucial Karnataka in the month of May.
Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana and Mizoram assembly elections will be held towards the end of 2023. If delimitation exercise is complete, Jammu and Kashmir can also hold assembly elections in 2023.
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