Three down, two more to go and the BJP would have finally achieved its goal of freeing Northeast India from the Congress regime, but will it manage to do so in congress dominated states like Meghalaya and Mizoram? Well only time can tell.
The Manipur polls results which was declared on March 11 and the subsequent outcome was a big boost to the saffron party which managed to cast a spell on Congress MLA from Andro constituency, Shyam Kumar and the lone Trinamool Congress MLA in the state Robindro Singh.
Now with 32 MLAs, the BJP is looking forward to form the government in Manipur, much to the dismay of three-time Congress Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh. Only in politics will such defection happen in a single night.
Taking a cue from the Manipur Polls, the BJP is hoping to continue this trend in other congress-ruled states like Meghalaya and Mizoram.
With the two states are set to go to polls next year, it is difficult though not impossible for the BJP to gain control of the two Christian-dominated states.
All these years, the political battle in Northeast India was only between the congress and the regional parties but this time around, the BJP interrupted and decided to take the battle to them (Congress).
The congress needs to pull its socks up and move on from its petty internal differences if it wants to win this war. That will be difficult because for the past one year, Meghalaya has witnessed a lot of imbroglio within the congress, the same of which has led many congress MDCs to defect from the party to join the BJP. It is quite noticeable that the Congress in Meghalaya is facing dissident activity.
In as far as Mizoram is concerned; the congress has a stable government, so it is a little difficult for the BJP to break through. However, with the Mizo National Front (MNF) as its regional ally, the saffron party is working hard to steal the limelight from the congress.
And just like in Manipur, the BJP is likely to stitch a post-poll alliance with regional allies to take on Congress in Meghalaya and Mizoram.
Though, the congress is facing dissidence in Meghalaya, the BJP will however have to sweat it out because the state will be a total different ball game for the saffron party. But despite all that, the BJP is looking forward to fight this battle next year on its own, according to BJP Meghalaya unit president Shibun Lyngdoh.
There are possibilities that the congress will be pushed to the opposition in the upcoming 2018 assembly elections, with the regional parties overtaking the reign. But it is hard to predict whether the regional parties in Meghalaya – United Democratic Party (UDP), Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP), Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement (KHNAM), will want to forge an alliance with the saffron party though UDP had recently expressed its desire to work with like-minded parties. The HSPDP and KHNAM on the other hand, are little sceptical about entering into an alliance with BJP.
As predictions goes, the regional parties in Meghalaya will take control of the state sans the help of the BJP though door are open for an alliance with National People’s Party (NPP) because in as far as Garo Hills is concerned, the NPP will likely gather majority of the seats as evident from the last year’s Tura Lok Sabha bye-polls where the congress was swept away by an NPP’s tsunami.
But there is yet another battle to be won for the BJP in Meghalaya – key candidates in the upcoming elections. In the last decade, the BJP has never managed to open an account except AL Hek, who joined the Congress even as he was elected on party tickets in the 2008 poll. Last year, the resignation of four Congress MDCs from the party to join the BJP might be beneficial for the saffron party in the upcoming elections. There are even higher probability for the BJP to win in many seats from Jaintia Hills if not Khasi Hills, Ri Bhoi and Garo Hills.
It is important to note that the role of the regional parties in the state especially in Khasi Hills, but then Meghalaya is plagued with political instability. And it was this sense of differences amongst the regional parties especially between the UDP and HSPDP, which has paved way for the congress to attain an upper hand. What Meghalaya needs is a united forum of all the regional parties in the state, if it wants to rid the state of external parties’ rule.
Now the question arises: Will the BJP managed to come to power in Meghalaya and Mizoram? Or will the regional parties take the lead this time? Will the BJP-NPP and BJP-MNF alliances succeed in gaining control over Meghalaya and Mizoram? Or will the Congress continue to prove its strength time and again?
By Ibankyntiew Mawrie
This is an opinion expressed by the writer and not that of TNT-The Northeast Today.