The counting of votes for Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland assemblies began at 8 am on Thursday. The three northeastern states witnessed elections in February with Tripura voting on February 16 and Nagaland and Meghalaya voting on February 27.
The three northeastern states recorded robust polling turnouts, with Tripura recording an overall turnout of 86 per cent. Nagaland and Meghalaya, who voted later in the month, witnessed similar numbers, with both states recording over 81 per cent turnouts.
As per most of the exit poll projections, Meghalaya is headed towards a hung house, with Chief Minister Conrad Sangma led National People’s Party (NPP) emerging as the single largest party.
In light of the predictions of the exit poll, the outgoing CM has also hinted towards a possible post-poll alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to form a government in the state.
Meanwhile, in Tripura, the pollsters have predicted a win for BJP by a comfortable margin. However, some exit polls have projected the ruling party’s numbers to decline from what it had secured in the last assembly elections.
TIPRA Motha, an outfit formed out of an alliance between regional outfits which has claimed to represent the state’s indigenous people, is expected to make big gains, and hence, it is being seen as a crucial entity in forming the government in Tripura. TIPRA Motha is led by royal scion of Tripura, Pradyot Manikya Deb Barman.
Furthermore, as per the exit poll predictions, the ruling NDPP-BJP alliance is all but likely to secure a fresh mandate in Nagaland to form a government with a comfortable margin. Nagaland looks set to be the most straightforward victory for the ruling saffron party, even amidst several issues plaguing the state that had called the inaction of the state government led by Neiphiu Rio into question.