Sunday, April 21, 2024
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An NDA election in Northeast this time

NDA election

GUWAHATI, APRIL 2: The Lok Sabha election in the Northeast will be an NDA election than merely a BJP election with the saffron party clearly way ahead of the Congress and other opposition parties.
The Northeast has altogether 25 seats, 14 of them in Assam. Manipur, Tripura, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh have 2 seats each while Nagaland, Mizoram and Sikkim have 1 seat each.
The BJP rules Assam, Manipur, Tripura and Arunachal and is a component of the ruling coalitions in Nagaland and Meghalaya.
Barring Assam, the BJP and its allies did not have any seat-sharing arrangement in the 2019 elections, yet the NDA bagged 19 of the 25 seats. This election however, they are contesting as team NDA.
Mizoram and Sikkim are the aberrations. Despite being allies, BJP and Mizo National Front are contesting separately in Mizoram. Similarly, BJP is pitted against Sikkim Krantikari Morcha in Sikkim.
The BJP has entered into seat-sharing arrangements with National People’s Party (NPP), Naga People’s Front (NPF) and Nationalist Democratic Progressive Front (NDPP) and continued its understanding with Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL) in Assam.
The stakes are high for the BJP in Assam. It is contesting 11 seats and allowed AGP and UPPL to contest from 2 and 1 seats respectively.
When the NPP, which Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma heads, decided to not contest the 2 seats in Arunachal and instead, support the BJP, the latter returned the favour by opting out of the poll race in Meghalaya. The BJP is supporting the NPP in the State.
The BJP is also not contesting the Outer Manipur seat in Manipur and decided to support the NPF. Similarly, it stayed away from Nagaland where the NDPP is contesting in the lone seat. The bonhomie among the NDA constituents is conspicuous. The BJP’s face in the Northeast and Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma hailed the NPP when it decided to support the BJP in Arunachal.
“This unparalleled commitment among our partners will ensure the NDA secures over 400 seats”, Sarma had stated. The BJP’s contest in the region will be mostly with the Congress, except for some seats where it has other opposition parties as rivals.
Fifteen seats are going to election in the first phase on April 19 ~ 5 in Assam, 2 each in Manipur, Meghalaya and Arunachal and 1 seat each in Nagaland, Sikkim, Mizoram and Tripura.
The opposition INDIA bloc could manage to field consensus candidates only in Manipur and Tripura. The Congress is contesting both Inner Manipur and Outer Manipur seats and 1 seat in Tripura (Tripura West). The CPM is contesting the other seat (Tripura East).
The Congress, which ruled the Northeast for most part but got reduced to a shadow of its past self, is hoping to retain the two seats of Nagaon in Assam and Shillong in Meghalaya. The party is also optimistic about Jorhat and Dhubri (both Assam) and Inner Manipur seats.
(Courtesy: TNIE)