The struggle of a 22-year-old to choose her own gender identity has led to farreaching changes for many like her. This is that story AHMEDABAD,LATE CITY MARCH 4, 2018 22+6 (EYE) PAGES, ` 5.00 WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA ASSEMBLY ELECTION RESULTS 2018 Impressive showing in North-East boosts BJP prospects in the run-up to 2019 Lok Sabha polls MEGHALAYA Congress National People’s Party BJP Other parties and Independents Hectic efforts on to form government 21 19 2 17 NAGALAND NDPP+BJP 29 Naga People’s Front 26 National People’s Party 2 JD(U) 1 Independent 1 BJP holds the cards, can play other parties TRIPURA BJP+IPFT CPI(M) 43 16 SUNDAY STORY PAGE 13 Thumping win for BJP, majority on its own How Tripura was won Elections not held in 1 seat each in Meghalaya, Tripura. Result withheld at one seat in Nagaland In BJP's ideological battle against the Left, in a region crucial to RSS plans, the Tripura result is more than another state victory for the party Saffron splash in N-E wipes out Red MEGHALAYA HUNG BJP ends 25 years of Left rule in Tripura, PM says it is also an ideological victory ESHA ROY AGARTALA, MARCH 3 FULL COVERAGE PAGES 8, 9 Left only in Kerala, CPM grapples with divide within MANOJ C G NEW DELHI, MARCH 3 THE CPM resents personality cult. Yet Manik Sarkar — the simple, soft-spoken, austere Chief Minister of Tripura, projected as a model of integrity — towered over the party for years. As the CPM lost one of its last bastions, its sweep and scale leaving it numb, the party struggled to fathom the sudden shift in its mass base while acutely aware that its national political relevance was under serious question. With Tripura marking the first direct electoral contest between the political Left and Right, the defeat also meant loss for the CPM in its perception battle against ideological rival BJP — represented perhaps aptly in the personalities of Manik Sarkar and Narendra Modi. This blow is significant for the Left as it has always taken pride in punching above its weight and being an important voice in setting the national agenda, despite never being a dominant political force electorally. Kerala, the only state where the CPM is in power now, alternates between it and the Congress. The only two other states where it remains strong, West Bengal and Tripura, are now both out of its control. It is not that the CPM did not anticipate the downslide. All its top leaders who campaigned in the state gauged a BJP surge, but hoped that Sarkar’s appeal would take the CPM past the half-way mark of 30. Brinda Karat camped in the state for nearly a month. The CPM draft political resolution to be presented at the CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 BIG PICTURE PAGES 10-11 TWENTY FIVE years of Left rule in Tripura collapsed in spectacular fashion Saturday when the BJP stormed the Communist citadel to secure a two-thirds majority in the 60-member House. Of the 59 constituencies where votes were cast on February 18, the BJP and its ally, Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT), grabbed 43, ending Manik Sarkar’s four-term stint as Chief Minister. The BJP, which had secured 1.54 per cent votes in the 2013 assembly polls in the state, got over 43 per cent of the votes in the 51 seats it contested this time. The CPM, which had 48.11 per cent votes in 2013, managed 42.6 per cent. But the Left Front was trounced in the numbers game, dropping from 50 to 16 seats. The Congress was decimated — it had 10 seats and 36.53 per cent vote share in 2013, but drew a blank this time. In New Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who will be seeking a second term next year CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 DECISION 2018 TRIPURA, NAGALAND, MEGHALAYA MANOJ C G NEW DELHI, MARCH 3 Prime Minister Narendra Modi being felicitated by party leaders in New Delhi after the gains in North-East. Praveen Khanna FRONTRUNNER FOR CM PHOTO-FINISH IN KOHIMA Tripura BJP chief Biplab Deb BJP in driver’s seat, Cong draws a blank DIPANKAR GHOSE RAIPUR, MARCH 3 END OF A LONG RUN Outgoing CM Manik Sarkar RAVISH TIWARI NEW DELHI, MARCH 3 THAT THE roar of the assembly election results in Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland, situated on the north-eastern periphery of the country, resonates across the mainland is what the BJP will want. Because therein lies a message for the rest of India, one that’s deeper than the electoral gains in the three states which account for only five seats in Lok Sabha. The results Saturday will raise ideological and practical political cheer in the ruling BJP while lowering Opposition EXPLAINED morale as they all head into the last year of the Modi government before the scheduled 2019 Lok Sabha elections. If the Gujarat assembly election results last December gave it ● PROBE HOUSING SCHEMES OF VMC, CENTRE ASKS STATE GOVT, P 3 a scare, the ruling BJP suffered a humiliating setback in bypolls in politically important Rajasthan early last month. While that brought about a spring in Opposition step, the discovery of a politically-damaging largescale fraud in a public sector bank last month also appeared to be adding to dark clouds on the horizon in an election year. The electoral gains for the BJP in these three north-eastern states and the decimation of the CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 21 states are now BJP-ruled, home to 70 per cent of Indians ANIL SASI NEW DELHI, MARCH 3 HAVING HANDED the CPM a crushing defeat in Tripura and placed itself in a pivotal position in Nagaland, where it is likely to continue in government, the BJP is set to increase the number of states it rules — either by itself or as part of an alliance — to 21. These states, including Tripura and Nagaland, are home to over 70 per cent of India’s population. The situation in Meghalaya, the third state where Assembly elections were held, SAFFRON SPREAD ■ BJP ■ Congress ■ Others ■ Undecided was fluid on Saturday night. The last time a political party or group had this big a footprint across India was a quarter century ago. In end-1993, after a round of state elections, the Congress held 16 of India’s then 26 states — 15 on its own; one in alliance. The BJP has now established a strong presence across large parts of the Northeast, one of the two regions (the other being the South) where it has traditionally been weak. In 2014, when the Narendra Modi government came to power in Delhi, the BJP ruled just CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Gauri murder: Hindu outfit man held, police uncover ‘second plot’ BENGALURU, MARCH 3 GUJARAT A HUNG Assembly in Nagaland has the BJP firmly in the driver’s seat. As counting day threw up a photofinish Saturday with neither the Naga People’s Front (NPF) nor the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) crossing the half way Why 3 states with only 5 Lok Sabha seats are such a big deal JOHNSON TA Malli’s Tragedy Cong has most seats, but numbers game is on SOON AFTER the killing of journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh (55) outside her house in west Bengaluru on September 5 last year, K T Naveen Kumar, an activist of a right wing group called Hindu Yuva Sena, went incommunicado. When he resurfaced late last year near his hometown Maddur in southern Karnataka, some 80 km from Bengaluru, a close friend asked him why he had disappeared and not kept in Naveen Kumar has been held with firearms touch. Kumar (37) told the friend he had gone away because of the Gauri Lankesh murder. Kumar was arrested on February 18 in Bengaluru for possession of illegal arms - in the form of prohibited .32 or 7.65 mm bullets - by a Special Investigation Team probing the Gauri Lankesh murder after vital information emerged in the course of the illegal arms case. Also the the leader of the Maddur unit of the Hindu Yuva Sena — a rag tag group that occasionally dons the role of culture and moral police — Kumar has CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 point, the BJP inched closer to forming government with its alliance partner while claiming support from a JD(U) MLA and an independent. Late on Saturday night, BJP leaders indicated they would form government in the next few days with NDPP chief Neiphiu Rio as Chief Minister. The BJP tally in Nagaland surged from just one seat in 2013 to 12 after counting on Saturday. Its vote share increased from 1.75 per cent to 14.4 per cent. The Congress failed to win a single seat and its vote share fell from around 15 per cent in 2013 to just above 2 per cent in 2018. The NPF emerged the single largest party with 26 seats, the NDPP has 17, BJP 12, National People’s Party (NPP) 2, JD(U) 1, and one independent - 37-year- old Tongpang Ozukum who defeated the working president of the NDPP and former Chief Secretary Alemtamshi Jamir. The result of the Tenning constituency, where NPF was declared the winner, according to Nagaland Chief Electoral Officer “was forwarded to ECI” and has not been declared yet. On March 1, the NPP and the CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 MEGHALAYA SATURDAY threw up a hung Assembly with the ruling Congress bagging 21 seats, down from 29 in 2013, and falling 10 short of a simple majority. Conrad Sangma’s National People’s Party took giant strides, winning 19 seats. Both parties were making hectic efforts to rope in smaller parties and Independents to form the government. The Congress had focused all energy on Meghalaya in this round of Assembly elections, to the extent it upset its leaders in Tripura and Nagaland. The Nagaland Congress chief, Kewe Khape Therie, had accused the party of abandoning the state. While the Congress was wiped out in those two states, its efforts in Meghalaya turned out to be not enough. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
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