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Congress respects mandate of northeast; will win back trust: Rahul Gandhi

Meghalaya chief minister and Congress candidate Mukul Sangma waves at his supporters after winning in his constituency at Ampati in South West Garo Hills on March 3

They are also likely to be backed by PA Sangma-founded National People's Party (NPP) besides the lone Independent.

The elections in 59 seats in the 60-member Assembly were held on February 18. In Tripura, the party collaborated with Indigenous People's Front of Tripura which has considerable support among indigenous people who constitute about 30 percent of the state's population.

Tawang - Report of celebration of victory have received wherein several party leaders and business community celebrate the victory of the saffron party in three states of the region and share colours and crackers.

Its ally IPFT, which fielded candidates in nine seats, got almost 8 per cent votes.

The Left Front had lost in 1988 Assembly polls to the Congress-Tripura Upajati Juba Samity combine by just one seat. The previous Communist government had streamlined land ownership rights for the tribes, but it had failed to deliver any subsequent reforms.

Breaking his silence on the party's defeat in three northeast states, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday said he respected the mandate of people in the region and was committed to winning back their trust.

Clarifying the meaning of "respectable" positions, IPFT president N C Debbarma said it meant proportionate representation of IPFT MLAs in the Cabinet and allocation of major departments to them.

The BJP secured only two seats though the party had fielded 47 candidates. As a result they are languishing with 1.8 per cent votes. Mizoram is the only state in the northeast with a non-NDA government.

The north-east has, by and large, remained indifferent to the BJP's traditional emphasis on Hindu nationalism, or Hindutva. Besides, it was found that 74% of first-time voters identified with the BJP-IPFT alliance cutting across the ethnic divide of tribal and Bengali.

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The BJP won 35 seats in Tripura's state legislature against the CPI (M)'s 16 seats, according to India's Election Commission.

"I have already been given a bigger responsibility, the party's state presidentship, which I have been fulfilling to the best of my ability", he said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday that the people of Northeast India had rejected the "politics of hate" by "unanimously" voting the Bharatiya Janata Party to power, PTI reported.

Also, party sources said there are few candidates which are in the frontline for the Chief Ministerial post. Having recently set up governments in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur, the party's Mission North East is coming together.

He also said that the party's victory in Tripura was not an ordinary victory but a win for democracy over brute force and intimidation.

The victory, especially in Tripura, goes beyond electoral gains.

"Election analysts in India will have to understand the journey from No one to One, shunya se shikhar tak".

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. Today peace and non-violence has prevailed over fear.

The NPF, on the other hand, had entered into a pre-poll alliance with the NPP and JD (U), and functionaries from both parties had written to the Nagaland governor, PB Acharya, informing about their agreement, perhaps fearing a possible swoop by the BJP after votes are declared.

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