Tripura elections on February 16; Nagaland, Meghalaya on February 27
The Election Commission (ECI) on Wednesday announced the Assembly poll schedule for the states of Meghalaya, Nagaland, and Tripura. While the elections in Tripura are slated for February 16, the polls will be conducted in Meghalaya and Nagaland simultaneously on February 27. The election results for all three states will be declared by March 2, informed Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar.
Why does this story matter?
- The terms of all three state Assemblies, each of which has 60 members, end in March.
- Currently, the BJP is incumbent in Tripura, while it's a part of the ruling coalition in Nagaland with the National Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) and with the National People's Party (NPP) in Meghalaya.
- There's no clarity regarding the Naga peace talks yet, which are likely to attract attention.
EC officials earlier sought stakeholders' opinion on conducting polls
Meghalaya: NPP to contest elections alone
The incumbent Chief Minister Conrad Sangma belongs to the NPP, which holds 20 out of the total 60 seats. The United Democratic Party (UDP) has eight seats, the People's Democratic Front (PDF) and the BJP have two seats each, and two seats are held by independent leaders. The Trinamool Congress (TMC) is the largest Opposition party with nine seats, while 14 seats are vacant.
Nagaland: BJP will bid to improve tally in ruling coalition
The ruling coalition of the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) is constituted by NDPP—to which Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio belongs, BJP, and the Naga People's Front (NPF). In previous election, NPF won 26 seats, NDPP 18, and BJP 12. The Opposition was decimated when 21 NPF MLAs joined the UDA. With turncoats holding the key, BJP will look to increase its seats in the coalition.
Tripura: BJP looking to extend winning run
Currently, out of the 60 Tripura Assembly seats, 20 are tribal-dominated. As many as six seats are currently vacant. In the previous election in 2018, the BJP won 33 seats, the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPIM) 15 seats, the Indigenous People's Front of Tripura (IPFT) four seats, and the Congress one seat. The BJP is trying to retain its alliance with the IPFT.