India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has notched a historic win in provincial elections in the northern state of Tripura, boosting Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s chances of securing a second term in next year’s national election.
Results announced for most of the 59-seat regional chamber showed that the BJP had won a majority in Tripura and would replace the Communist Party of India (Marxist), or CPI (M), to form a regional government on its own.
That would mean an end to 25 years of the rule of CPI (M) in Tripura. The party, which suffered a huge defeat in 2011 in its main bastion of West Bangal, has faced criticism for its lack of progress in creating jobs for the youth, building hospitals and other infrastructure in the northern state.
Results from other provincial elections showed that the BJP could also win a majority with support from other groups in Meghalaya and Nagaland states.
The victory in Tripura is a clear boost for BJP and its plans for dominating next year’s national election. The Hindu nationalist party is now in control of 19 of India’s 29 states while the main opposition party, the Congress, which is dominated by people from the Nehru-Gandhi political dynasty, controls five states. Other states in India are ruled by small regional groups while a coalition of communist parties and some other groups are ruling southern Kerala state.
Modi boasted of his party’s victory in Tripura, saying it showed that people were becoming increasingly interested in the positive and development-oriented agenda of his party.
“People do not have the time or respect for negative, disruptive and disconnected politics of any kind,” Modi wrote in a message posted on Twitter on Sunday.