Assembly by-polls: BJP-led NDA dominates in two NE states

BJP and Congress Flag Poster
BJP and Congress Flag Poster

Imphal/Kohima, Nov 10 : The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) on Tuesday won five seats including one unopposed out of the seven Assembly seats in Manipur and Nagaland, where bypolls were held last week. Independent candidates won the remaining two seats.

BJP’s ally and ruling Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) bagged one Assembly seat in Nagaland, while an Independent candidate succeeded in winning the second seat in the bypolls, officials said.

The Congress secured second position in Saitu and Wangjing-Tentha Assembly seat while National People’s Party led by Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma secured second position in Wangoi Assembly seat.

With four legislators, the NPP is an ally of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government in Manipur.

With the winning of five assembly seats, including one uncontested, the BJP dominated coalition government in Manipur further strengthened its position in the 60-member house.

In the 2017 Assembly elections, the Congress emerged as the single largest party securing 28 seats, but the BJP, which bagged 21 seats, stitched together a coalition government with the support of four NPP MLAs, four Naga People’s Front members, the lone TMC MLA and an Independent member.

The by-polls were necessitated after Congress MLAs, elected in the 2017 elections from these five seats, resigned from the Assembly and joined the ruling BJP.

Soon after the announcement of the bypoll results, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju and central BJP leaders congratulated Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh for the saffron party’s success in the by-elections. Ruling BJP candidates won three Assembly seats in Manipur bypolls while an Independent candidate won the fourth seat in the state.

Election officials in Imphal said that BJP candidate Oinam Lukhoi Singh bagged 10,960 votes to win the Wangoi bypolls, defeating his nearest rival Khuraijam Loken Singh of the National People’s Party (NPP) by 257 votes.

The Wangoi seat witnessed a triangular contest among the BJP, the NPP and the Congress nominees. The NPP is an ally of the BJP-led government in Manipur.

In the Lilong seat, Independent candidate Y. Antas Khan secured 17,106 votes to defeat nearest BJP-supported Independent rival Mohammad Abdul Nasir by 3,078 votes.

In the Wangjing-Tentha seat, BJP candidate Paonam Brojen Singh got 15,147 votes to defeat Congress rival Moirangthem Hemanta Singh by 1,560 votes.

In the Saitu seat, BJP nominee Ngamthang Haokip, who has managed 24,549 votes, beat his Congress rival Lamtinthang Haokip by a margin of 12,257 votes.

“Congress supporters led by party candidate Lamtinthang Haokip have been agitating to conduct re-polling in a few polling stations of the Saitu assembly seat. The Election Commission after examining the demand rejected the appeal and declared the result on Tuesday night,” an election official said.

By-elections were held in four Assembly seats in Manipur on November 7 while the BJP won one seat unopposed, and two Assembly seats in Nagaland on November 3.

BJP nominee Ginsuanhau was elected unopposed from Singhat seat in Churachandpur district in Manipur on October 22 after Independent nominee Chinlunthang withdrew his candidature.

In Nagaland, the ruling Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) candidate Medo Yhokha bagged 4,773 votes to win the Southern Angami-1 seat, defeating his Independent rival Seyievilie Peter Zashumo by 598 votes.

The BJP is an ally of the NDPP-led government in Nagaland.Independent candidate T. Yangseo Sangtam, who secured 8,747 votes, won the Pungro-Kiphire seat, beating his Independent rival S. Kiusumew Yimchunger by a margin of 1,527 votes.

The by-elections were held in Southern Angami-I and Pungro-Khipre seats on November 3 after the death of sitting legislators Vikho-o Yhoshu and T Torechu, respectively.

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