- Party has assessed a 3/3 score in all three states: BJP's Himanta Biswa
- Himanta Biswa credited with BJP's expanding footprint in Northeast
- BJP ends Left rule in Tripura. Hung assembly in Meghalaya
"If we win Tripura and if we can regain Nagaland, have a government in Meghalaya, then our expansion in Northeast will be complete, barring Mizoram. Today will be a big day," Himanta Biswa Sarma told NDTV hours before counting.
Mr Sarma, a former Congressman who joined the BJP in 2015, has been credited with the BJP's expanding footprint in the northeast, beginning with Assam in 2016.
This time, the BJP hopes to end the 20-year run of CPI(M)'s Manik Sarkar in Tripura and take Meghalaya and Nagaland.
With a hung assembly predicted for Meghalaya, Mr Sarma is thinking ahead: "I am sure Tripura will have our own majority and Nagaland will have our majority with our allied partner. But in Meghalaya, we have to talk among parties and install non-Congress government."
If Mr Sarma's prediction proves correct, the BJP will further consolidate its position in the Northeast after taking Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh. The seventh Northeast state, Mizoram, ruled by the Congress, will vote later this year.
According to Mr Sarma, his mission to conquer the northeast is about "mainstreaming the northeast region" in the political landscape.
"I am in the BJP because of this. The enormous attention Prime Minister Narendra Modi and (BJP president) Amit Shah are paying the northeast is extraordinary," he said.
"In my entire poitical life, I have never seen a national political party pay so much attention to the northeast. It is about winning the hearts of the people of the northeast. People are very happy about this."