Even as the media spotlight was on the Naga peace talks in Delhi, preparations began for the assembly elections in the three northeastern states—Nagaland, Tripura and Meghalaya. The most keenly watched of these elections on February 26 will be Nagaland’s. Any progress in New Delhi’s talks with the NSCN(I-M) will depend largely on who comes to power in Kohima. The key question is whether the Congress will return to power in Nagaland. And will it better its performance in Meghalaya where it’s a coalition partner with the NCP? For the BJP, which has only a marginal presence in the region, any gain would be welcome. The Left Front (LF) is likely to retain power in Tripura where it has served two consecutive terms.
Here is what the political landscape looks like in the three states a week after polls were announced: