It was a ‘win-win-win’ for the BJP in the three states.
The BJP and its allies have scored a three on three in the results declared yesterday for the assembly polls conducted in three Northeastern states.
The saffron party won 32 seats in Tripura and, with its allies, has gone past the halfway mark. In Nagaland, it won 12 seats while its ally the NDPP won 25. Finally, in Meghalaya, Conrad Sangma’s NPP scored 26 seats and had approached Amit Shah asking for support in forming the new government.
The news was front and centre for almost all leading English newspapers in India.
Indian Express called it a “win-win-win” for the BJP saying it “emphatically won the Tripura Assembly elections and looked poised to return to power in Meghalaya and Nagaland as a junior partner in ruling coalitions”.
Express also tipped its hat to the debut Tipra Motha in Tripura, which it called a “force to reckon with”.
The Hindu was more cautious, with its headline “BJP, allies win Tripura, Nagaland; Meghalaya throws up hung verdict”.
“The results show that voters in these northeastern States have largely rejected calls for a change,” the report said. “The Assembly elections were seen as a litmus test for the BJP ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha poll.” It added that Meghalaya “did not deviate from the ‘tradition’ of giving a fractured mandate, barring the first Assembly poll in 1972”.
Hindustan Times also reiterated that results will “bode well for the Bharatiya Janata Party’s prospects in next year’s national elections” while asking “questions of the Congress’s ability to be the core of an anti-BJP alliance”. It also noted the “limitations of the Trinamool Congress in extending its sway beyond West Bengal”.
Times of India also joined the chorus on its front page. Among its five “big messages” on page 1 was that the results “attest to the personal popularity of PM Modi” and that the results reinforce the BJP’s “continuing ascendancy”.
“Yatras and the rave reviews they generate may be good for one’s morale,” it added cuttingly, “but there is no substitute to toiling in the trenches when it comes to contesting and winning elections. After giving the Gujarat polls a skip, Rahul Gandhi once again chose to stay disengaged...from the campaign.”
Finally, the Telegraph, which chose not to lead with the results on page 1. The top story was the Supreme Court ruling on how the chief election commissioner and election commissioners would be selected on the advice of a committee – described by Telegraph as “fetters on EC ease”.
The results were a smaller story on page 1, simply noting that “BJP beats Left + Congress”.
History was also scripted yesterday in Nagaland, which finally got its first women MLAs. Hekani Jakhalu and Salhoutuonuo Kruse are both members of the NDPP, which is in alliance with the BJP. But how has the state never before elected a woman to its assembly in its 60-year history? Read this report in Newslaundry for more.