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Lotus blooms in North East, anti-Citizenship Bill sentiments a distant memory

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

When protests on the citizenship bill erupted in earlier this year many believed it had spoiled the BJP's chances in the region for the polls.

Yet, the saffron party and its allies walked away with 18 of the 25 seats up for grabs in the northeastern states, successfully weathering the storm of unrest that rocked most parts of Assam, Nagaland, and

The Congress, the grand old part of India, was restricted to just four seats, while its allies bagged two. One constituency was won by an

When protest broke out against the Centre's plan to bring the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, (CAB) -- dubbed to be against the interest of the indigenous people of the region -- many political commentators believed that it would mar the BJP's chances in the in the North East.

The bill had proposed to give citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, Jains and Parsis from Muslim-majority Bangladesh, and

Violent agitations in Assam, along with protests in Mizoram, and against the bill forced the Centre to abort plans to introduce it in Rajya Sabha allowing it to lapse.

However, proving the naysayers wrong, the BJP and its allies gained majorly, especially in where a total of 14 seats were up for grabs. BJP on its own won in nine seats in the state.

In 2014, the saffron party had won seven seats.

On the other hand, the won three seats, the same as in 2014. Its ally All United Democratic Front (AIUDF) won one seat, down from three in 2014 while one constituency went to an

In Arunachal Pradesh, Union for Home Kiren Rijiju led a clean sweep for the BJP on the two seats in the state, routing the

While Rijiju retained his Arunachal West seat, his party colleague trumped candidate in the Arunachal East constituency.

Finance Minister and BJP leader said the win for the NDA in the region was all because of the "tremendous development" of the North East under Narendra Modi's leadership.

"He has brought a new era for the people of the North East. Today, every part of the North East is connected with Railways, internet and now, there is also air connectivity in every state (of the region)," he said.

In Manipur, the BJP and the Naga Peoples Front won the Inner and Outer Manipur seats respectively, both of which were won by the Congress in 2014.

The BJP further strengthened its position in the region by wresting the two constituencies -- East and West -- in Tripura from the Congress. In 2014, both these seats were won by the CPI(M).

NDA ally added muscle to the coalition grabbing the lone seat in Sikkim by defeating the Sikkim Democratic Front's candidate.

In Mizoram, NDA ally Mizo National Front's nominee C Lalrosanga defeated by 8,140 votes in the only constituency of the state. Congress had won the seat in the last term.

BJP ally Democratic Progressive Party's Tokheho Yepthomi won the lone seat in defeating Congress candidate K L Chishi by 16,344 votes in a seesaw contest.

In a breather for the Congress, the party won the Shillong seat in although it lost constituency to NDA ally

The two parties had also won the respective seats in 2014.

Going by the outcome, the BJP can claim that the Lotus (its party symbol) is well and truly blooming in the North East.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, May 24 2019. 14:31 IST