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Status Quo Maintained

The assembly elections in Tripura, Nagaland and Meghalaya did not spring any surprises.

The status quo ruled the roost as the Left Front (LF) led by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)] retained power in Tripura, the Naga People’s Front (NPF) in Nagaland, and the Congress in Meghalaya, the three north-eastern states, where state assembly elections were held last month.

It was a foregone conclusion that the LF would triumph once again in Tripura but the expectation was that it would suffer a drop in its formidable share of the votes cast, as also in the number of seats it would win, this in the face of a united opposition. The CPI(M)’s electoral fortunes have flagged in West Bengal, but appreciably good governance in the small north-eastern state, which has delivered healthy developmental and livelihood indices and brought peace during the period of the LF’s rule since 1993, ensured that the left won 50 of the assembly’s 60 seats, improving its tally by one seat. The LF also managed to retain more than half the vote share, just as it did in the last assembly elections in 2008. The united opposition of the Congress and the Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT) managed only 10 seats, with 36.5% and 7.6% of the votes respectively. Indeed, the INPT drew a blank and thus the united opposition was unable to make a dent in the ruling LF’s popularity.

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