North-East Elections: How Important It Is For BJP To Win

Elections to the northeastern states Meghalaya, Tripura, and Nagaland are due this month. The election commission has announced the date 18 February for Tripura and 27 February for Nagaland and Meghalaya. Counting for all the three states will be on March 3.

With two visits planned for the Prime Minister to Tripura, there is anticipation among the people to know what is the importance of BJP in North East.

The Bhartiya Janta Party with its allies has so far formed governments in five of the seven sister states, Assam being the biggest achievement. The party is often seen campaigning against beef and its consumption in order to woo the right wingers and Hindu population. However, northeastern states enjoy immunity from this. BJP has informally promised that beef won’t be banned and the leaders have formally declared that the state’s culture won’t be interfered with if the party comes to power.

This duality of thoughts is what makes it tough for BJP to enter northeast and, to an extent, southern states. Contrary to that, a major political score BJP makes is its promise to exclude immigrants from the state. Illegal immigrants and refugees from Myanmar, Bangladesh, are known to be entering these states and staying as citizens. Not much has been done by existing parties to curb the influx. Hence, BJP has an upper hand in this issue.

The reason why BJP needs to conquer north-eastern states is that this will serve a major political fruit in its basket. In the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, it is being foreseen that BJP might lose plenty of seats. Winning the north-east would make BJP stronger and reduce the rate at which they are or will depreciate.

The creation of NEDA (North-East Democratic Alliance), a congregation of ally parties, by BJP has made it foreseeable for it to enter northeast comfortable as major regional parties have become a part of it. Even after politically mingling with politicians of contradicting ideologies, if BJP does not manages to win the elections it would be a blot on it.

Moreover, losing the elections will bring scores of bashing on BJP’s popularity and would ultimately affect its seats in future elections in 2018 (Karnataka, Rajasthan), and eventually in 2019. It was in December only when eight MLAs from the Meghalaya assembly had joined National People’s Party, an ally of the BJP.

Hence, it makes it even more important for the party to win these small states even though they contribute little to the Lok Sabha constituencies.

Sources: NDTV, IE, and The Hindu

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