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Modi's nationalist party notches win in key Indian state

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Mukul Sangma

The same factor is likely to help the party form the government in Meghalaya as well, where it has got just two seats on its own, but the Congress has fallen well short of a majority. It was ousted from power from its main bastion, West Bengal state, in 2011 by a regional group that ended 34 years of its continuous rule there.

Leader of Opposition and UDP chief Donkupar Roy retained Shella seat for the seventh consecutive term, James Sangma retained Dadenggre seat for the third consecutive term, James' youngest sister and former Union Minister Agatha Sangma and former Meghalaya Rajya Sabha member Thomas Sangma also won elections as NPP nominees. With the three states coming under the NDA umbrella, the number of states being ruled directly by the BJP, and through alliances, has jumped to 21.

In Tripura, the Congress leader said, BJP has aligned with the IPFT, a party with division of the state as its election plank which is now demanding a tribal chief minister.

However, shielding the party president, the Congress party asserted that it is not a crime to visit one's grandmother.

The Congress chief's reaction came two days after the party's dismal performance in the Northeast Assembly elections.

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BJP, which did not have a single councillor in all of Tripura and lost its deposit in 49 constituencies out of 50 in 2013 assembly elections, had managed this land sliding victory.

Meghalaya threw up a fractured mandate on Saturday with the ruling Congress emerging as the largest party, marginally ahead of its rival, the NPP, an ally of the BJP at the Centre and in Manipur. But the BJP in its pre-election alliance chose Neiphiu Rio's new party and projected him as presumptive chief minister.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (C) gestures as he is garlanded by Bharatiya Janata Party leaders during the state election results of three northeast states at the BJP headquarters in the Indian capital New Delhi on March 3, 2018.

Now, BJP-led NDA assumed power in seven out of eight northeastern states.

With talks still underway with the Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muviah) and other Naga nationalist groups, the BJP is spoilt for choice when it comes to selecting a partner.

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