Congress strengthens base in northeast (Third Lead)

May 16th, 2009 - 8:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Guwahati, May 16 (IANS) The Congress has strengthened its base in the northeast, winning 13 of the 24 seats in the seven states, an improvement of two seats compared to the 2004 general elections.
The Congress won seven seats in Assam, while its alliance partner the Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) bagged one.

The opposition combine of the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) won five seats - the BJP in four seats and the AGP in one. The Asom United Democratic Front (AUDF) bagged one seat.

In the 2004 elections, both the AGP and the BJP had won two seats each, while the Congress had won nine seats and the BPF one.

A major setback for the Congress in Assam was the BJP’s wresting the prestigious Guwahati seat, although there is nothing much to cheer for the AGP as the regional party won just one seat - down from two the party won in 2004.

“We accept the verdict of the people of Assam although we expected to do well,” AGP president Chandra Mohan Patowary said.

Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said he was generally happy over the results in Assam.

“We may have lost two seats compared to 2004, but the AGP has lost its regional identity as their alignment with the BJP only helped the saffron party,” the chief minister said.

In Manipur, the Congress won both the Inner Manipur and the Outer Manipur seats.

In Arunachal Pradesh, sitting MP Khiren Rijiju and BJP MP Tapir Gao lost their seats to the Congress - a major setback for the BJP in the northeast.

In Nagaland, the BJP backed Nagaland People’s Front candidate C. Chang won the seat defeating the Congress.

In Meghalaya, the Congress candidate Vincent Pala won the Shillong seat, while in the Tura seat, sitting MP of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) Agatha Sangma won.

Tripura’s ruling CPI-M candidate Bajuban Reang won the Tripura East parliamentary constituency, defeating his Congress rival Diba Chandra Hrangkhawl by a margin of 295,000 votes.

Former Tripura health minister and CPI-M central committee member Khagen Das defeated his Congress rival Sudip Roy Barma in the Tripura West Lok Sabha seat by a margin of 247,000 votes.

In Mizoram, the ruling Congress candidate won the seat.

In the 2004 general elections, the Congress party had won 11 of the 24 seats, of which nine were from Assam, while the BJP had bagged four seats - two each in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.

The remaining were from small regional parties and independents, besides two Left candidates from Tripura and one from the Nationalist Congress Party.

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