New Delhi: BJP lawmakers and ministers celebrated the party's latest election victory by wearing scarves in the colours of the Northeast in parliament on Monday. As Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in parliament, BJP chief Amit Shah presented him with a traditional Naga scarf and then a large party contingent posed with beaming smiles and holding up the v sign for victory for photos near the PM's office.
- Amit Shah was greeted by BJP lawmakers in parliament
- In Tripura, BJP uprooted Left party CPM which ruled for 25 years
- BJP's tally of states in the northeast has gone up to six
As Mr Shah entered the Rajya Sabha, of which he is a member, he took a Tangkhul Naga haora muffler and draped it around his neck. Party lawmakers and ministers in the upper house greeted him with loud cheers and thumping of desks.
The BJP is celebrating a three out of three result in assembly elections in three northeastern states announced on Saturday. Not only has it posted a massive victory in Tripura, uprooting Left party CPM after 25 years in power, it has also managed to ensure that governments it backs in Meghalaya and Nagaland. Saturday's results take the BJP tally of states in the northeast to six out seven, dramatically expanding the party's footprint in the region, where it was seen as a minor player not long ago.
In a re-run of Manipur and Goa last year, the BJP and its allies got together they needed to stake claim and be invited to form government despite the Congress emerging as the single largest party.
This despite the Congress scrambling top central leaders to Meghalaya capital Shillong even as votes were being counted. The BJP had the better strategy. It brought together it allies, all of who contested the elections separately, and had the numbers by Sunday evening. Conrad Sangma of BJP ally National People's Party (NPP) will take oath as Chief Minister on Tuesday.
Nagaland too voted in a hung assembly, with the BJP and its new partner in the state the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) led by Neiphiu Rio getting the same number of seats as the Naga People's Front. A Janata Dal (United) lawmaker and an Independent pledged support to the BJP alliance to see it through.
In all three states, the BJP has bettered its performance from the last elections five years ago - in Tripura going from zero to 35 seats, 43 along with its regional ally IPFT. In Nagaland, the party has won 12 seats, it had won one in 2013. In Meghalaya, it has won two seats; five years ago it had won none.
Saturday's election results mean the Left is in power only in Kerala, while the Congress rules four states, including Karnataka and Mizoram, where elections will be held this year.
At a victory celebration at the BJP's Delhi headquarters on Saturday, PM Modi said never has the Congress been so diminished as it is now.
(With inputs from PTI)