The armed confrontation between the two groups alongside the border further exacerbated the tensions arising from an ongoing border dispute between the two neighboring states.
The Bharatiya Janata Party and its allies — IPFT and NDPP — were likely to retain power in Tripura and Nagaland, as per the latest trends post the initial rounds of counting in these two Northeast states.
However, the BJP, which is leading in 3 seats in Meghalaya, is likely to fall short of securing the majority mark on its own and might have to seek post-poll alliances if it is to form the government in the state. According to the latest trends shared by the Election Commission at 2.30 pm on Thursday, the BJP won 13 seats so far in Tripura and was leading in 20 seats, which places it comfortably beyond the halfway mark of 31 in the 60-seat Assembly.
The Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT), the BJP’s ruling ally in Tripura, has won one seat so far.
Chief Minister Manik Saha defeated Congress’ Asish Kumar Saha from the Town Bordowali seat by a margin of 1,257 votes.
The CPI(M) and the Congress, arch rivals in Kerala, came together in the Northeast this time in a bid to oust the BJP from power.
The CPI(M) won 1 seat and was leading i 10 while the Congress won 1 seat and was leading in 2, as per the latest trends.
The Tipra Motha Party, which was tipped to play the role of a kingmaker in the event of a hung Assembly, won 8 seats and was leading in 4.
The BJP, which contested 20 seats in Nagaland, won 6 seats, as per the latest trends, and was leading in 6 more. Its ally Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP), which contested 40 seats, won 12 seats and was ahead in 12 more.
The JD(U) was leading in 1 seat, while NCP won 2 and was leading in 5. The NPP won 2 seats and was leading in 3 while the NPF was leading in 2 seats.
In neighbouring Meghalaya, the ruling National People’s Party (NPP) won 6 seats and was leading in 19, while the BJP was leading in 3 seats.
The TMC, which is the principal Opposition in the state, won 1 seat and was leading in 4, while the Congress won 3 seats and was leading in 2 more.
The People’s Democratic Front was leading in 2 seats while the United Democratic Party won 5 seats and was leading in 6 seats.
Also, as per the latest trends in Meghalaya, there is a possibility of a hung Assembly, with the NPP mostly likely to emerge as the single-largest party.
Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma was leading in the South Tura constituency, and had secured 10,090 votes, bagging 49.42 per cent of the total votes polled in the seat.
The BJP, which had created history in 2018 by wresting the state from Left parties, was tipped to be ahead of its rivals in most exit-poll projections in the state.
The Northeast state saw a triangular contest as Congress and CPIM, which have been arch rivals for years, stitched a pre-poll alliance to defeat the ruling BJP.
In the 60-member Tripura assembly, the majority mark is 30 and the exit polls predicted a clear edge for the BJP over its rivals in the state.
The BJP, which had never won a single seat in Tripura before 2018, stormed to power in the last election in alliance with IPFT and had ousted the Left Front which had been in power in the border state for 35 years since 1978.
The BJP contested on 55 seats and its ally, IPFT, on six seats. But both allies had fielded candidates in the Ampinagar constituency in the Gomati district.
The Left contested on 47 and Congress on 13 seats, respectively. Of the total 47 seats, the CPM contested 43 seats while the Forward Bloc, Communist Party of India (CPI) and Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) contested one seat each.
BJP won 36 seats in the assembly and got 43.59 per cent of the votes in the 2018 election. The CPI (M) won 16 seats with a 42.22 per cent vote share. The IPFT won eight seats and Congress could not open its account.
The CPI-M-led Left Front ruled the state for nearly four decades, with a gap between 1988 and 1993, when the Congress was in power but now both parties joined hands with the intention to oust BJP from power.