Nagaland witnessed one of the most closely fought elections ever amid political uncertainty that witnessed whirlwind drama and suspense for over one month till the date of polling.
Two lives were also lost in election related violence and incidents of booth capturing resulting in re-polling at as many as 12 polling booths.
With the results declared on Saturday, stage is now set for another political drama over forming the new government.
While National People’s Party (NPF) emerged as the single largest party with 27 seats, down from 38 during last Assembly elections, has fallen short of four seats to stake claim for forming the next government.
However, it has pre-poll alliance with National People’s Party (NPP) that won two seats.
On the other hand, the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) – Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alliance managed to get a total of 28 seats. However, they have one more seat in kitty already with NDPP chief and former Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio getting elected earlier unopposed.
While NDPP bagged 16, BJP managed to win in 12 constituencies.
However, in all probability, the NDPP-BJP combine is set to form the next government in Nagaland with support from Janata Dal-United (JD-U) which has one legislator and one Independent.
Notably, JD-U had a pre-poll understanding with NPF-NPP combine, but the lone elected legislator and former NPF Cabinet Minister G Kaito Aye joined the NDPP-BJP camp in Kohima.
The NDPP with 17 and BJP with 12 MLAs have a total of 29 and with support of one JDU and Independent MLAs the alliance will have simple majority of 31 in a house of 60.
Now it remains to be seen whether Nagaland Governor, P B Acharya will go by the book before inviting the largest single party of pre-poll alliance partners to form the next government or give the chance to NDPP-BJP alliance which in all likelihood will stake claim to form the next government in Nagaland.