Elections for assembly constituencies in three North Eastern states of India — Meghalaya, Nagaland, and Tripura — were held in the month of February. The counting of votes is set to begin at 8 am on Saturday and the results will be out in the afternoon.
Tripura went to polls on February 18, while elections were held in Meghalaya and Nagaland on February 27. All the three states have 60 assembly seats each but elections were held in only 59 constituencies.
In Meghalaya, a candidate was killed on February 18 in an IED blast following which polling in the constituency he had been contesting was countermanded; in Tripura, a CPM candidate passed away on February 11 and the polls in his assembly segment were postponed as per electoral laws; in Nagaland, former chief minister and Lok Sabha MP Neiphiu Rio won uncontested with Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) ticket after his opponent withdrew his nomination.
While Tripura registered the highest voter turnout in the three states with 92 percent, Nagaland and Meghalaya saw 75 percent and 67 percent respectively.
All eyes are on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as it tries to find its foothold in North East region. According to the exit polls, BJP may not form the government on its own but has the chance to make its presence felt with its allies.
Two exit polls have predicted that the saffron party will come to power in Tripura in alliance with the Indigenous People's Front of Tripura (IPFT) while one predicted a close contest between the CPM and BJP-IPFT.
AxisMyIndia has predicted a big win for BJP-IPFT alliance and projected the winning figures at 44-50 with 49 percent vote share. It predicted 9-15 seats for the Left front with a vote share of 40 percent. JanKiBaat-NewsX said that the BJP-IPFT alliance may win 35-45 seats with 51 percent vote share, and the Left front is likely to win 14-23 with 45-46 percent vote share.
However, the exit poll by CVoter stated that the Left front will win 26-34 seats with over 44 percent vote share, and the BJP-IPFT alliance will win 24-32 seats with over 42 percent vote share.
The exit poll by JanKiBaat-NewsX has predicted that the National People's Party (NPP) will win 23-27 seats with 39 percent vote share and its ally will win 8-12 seats with a vote share of 12 percent. It projected Congress' win in 13-17 seats with 21 percent vote share, while others are expected to win 2-6 seats.
CVoter has also predicted that NPP will win the most number of seats, i.e., 17-23 segments, while its ally BJP could win 4-8 seats. It also predicted that Congress will win 13-19 seats and 8-12 seats may go to the United Democratic Party (UDP) and Hill State People's Democratic Party (HSPDP).
It appears like the NDPP-BJP alliance will grab power in Nagaland.
According to JanKiBaat-NewsX's exit poll, NDPP-BJP alliance will win 27-32 seats, while the Naga People's Front (NPF) will win 20-25 seats. The exit poll by CVoter has predicted a 25-31 seats win for NDPP-BJP alliance and 19-25 for NPF.
The big question is whether BJP, which has formed the government in Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh states, will make history in North East region by coming to power in three more states.
Well, we need to wait to know the people's verdict on Saturday, March 3.