Indian newspapers on Sunday could not resist puns on the rising sun and the colour red, a day after the Bharatiya Janata Party emerged victorious in at least two of the three states from the North East, for which election results were announced on Saturday.
With these results, the party has shown that it has massive influence over the region, one in which it was a bit player less than half a decade ago. The newspapers focussed on the BJP’s performance across the three states, and the shrinking fortunes of the Congress and the Left.
The Times of India said the North East has now become the “land of the rising Sangh”. The BJP is “now a truly Bharatiya Party as it deepens its presence across North East, including Christian-majority states”, the daily said. It also used tried-and-tested cricket metaphors to explain the BJP’s win to its readers.
The Hindustan Times ran the headline “BJP topples Manik’s sarkar”, in reference to the former Tripura chief minister. “Left Out”, it said, adding that the NDA “storms to power in red bastion Tripura”. It called the BJP’s expanding influence the “Saffron Surge”.
“Saffron splash in N-E wipes out Red,” said The Indian Express. Besides focussing on the end of the Left’s 25-year rule in Tripura, the daily also pointed out that the BJP is now in power, either directly or through an alliance, in 21 of India’s 29 states.
“The BJP has smashed the Left citadel in Tripura and conquered wide swathes of the Northeast that was once considered a frontier forever out of its reach,” The Telegraph reported. The BJP’s “blistering bounce back” is “Glory and Glee”, it said. The daily also focused on the so-called “Modi magic”.
The Tripura Times main headline for the day simply said, “SAFFRON”. It added that the BJP ended 25 years of Left rule in a “spectacular victory”.
The Shillong Times focussed on the BJP’s poor performance in Meghalaya, and the fractured verdict in the state.
With Tripura falling away from the Left, Kerala is the only state where the Communist Party of India (Marxist) is now in power. And leading Malayalam dailies did not forget that. Malayala Manorama ran with the headline: “Lotus blooms in Red Fort”. It added: “Quarter-century-long rule of the Left demolished, BJP gets two-third majority in Tripura”.
Another regional daily, Mathrubhumi punned on the name of the BJP’s possible chief ministerial candidate, Biplab Kumar Deb. “Chuvappukottayil Thamaraviplvam”, it said, which roughly translates to “Lotus revolution in Red Fort”. “Viplvam” means revolution in Malayalam.