Mamata attributes Congress' Tripura defeat to failure in forging alliance

BJP President Amit Shah flashes victory sign as he is accorded welcome by party workers as they celebrate outside party headquarters after North East states Assembly election results in New Delhi

BJP President Amit Shah flashes victory sign as he is accorded welcome by party workers as they celebrate outside party headquarters after North East states Assembly election results in New Delhi

Another Congress leader felt the BJP would "pay dearly" for banking on former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa as he had earlier been jailed. "The BJP has not only won the elections but secured 49 to 50 percent votes in (the three) north-east states". This is because the BJP refrained from raising anything touching on religion or issues relating to food habits that irked people across the country sometime ago.

Some political observers attribute the BJP's good showing in the Northeast to the party's determination to expand its rule.

West Bengal chief-minister and Trinamool Congress president Mamata Bannerjee ('Didi' to partymen) has attributed Congress' worst showing in the just-concluded Tripura Assembly polls to failure in forging a formidable electoral alliance. Added to the BJP's two seats and PDF's 4 and one won by an independent candidate, the number comes up to 34, three more than the simple majority mark of 31 in the 60-member assembly.

The loss in Tripura has also once again revived the debate within the party on whether to enter into anti-BJP alliances with other secular parties.

As he walked towards his allocated seat, BJP members and ministers began thumping their desks.

"I devised an alliance formula wherein the Congress, the TMC and the IPFT were to contest from 30, 14 and 16 seats respectively". The BJP spiced up the campaign by putting a dynamic new leader of the party, Himanta Biswa Sarma, a top Assam minister and convenor of the North-East Democratic Alliance (Neda), as its in-charge for the Tripura polls.

With the BJP putting up an impressive performance in the north east, party President Amit Shah received a rousing welcome by party MPs and ministers when he arrived in the Rajya Sabha on Monday.

In Nagaland too, the picture has become clear today.

"Tripura voters have given their mandate for a BJP-IPTF government in the state". The remaining eight seats went to a regional group, the Indigenous People's Front of Tripura. The Congress had 36.53 per cent has come down to 1.8 per cent only.

While Congress leaders claim off the record that a severe cash crunch is one of their biggest constraints, it simply can not be an excuse for a party that ruled New Delhi for two terms in the immediate past, apart from its legacy since independence. These two constituencies are going to poll in a week time and the favorable results of these by-elections will have serious psychological value for opposition parties in India, particularly after BJP's by-poll debacles in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.

To what extent is the Congress responsible for the BJP's rise in the Northeast?

The saffron party's first ever victory over the Communists has not only shaken the Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) but also the Congress-led opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) in the southern state.

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