With Elections at Manipur in full swing, the political parties including BJP has left no stone un turned to ensure its victory. Although BJP is not represented by a very strong face in the state like those of Ibobi for Congress and Sharmila for PRJA, the party has still managed to carve a niche for itself in people’s mind in ways more than one. And if, at all under any circumstances, BJP emerges victorious in the state, this may put other Congress-ruled states in deep trouble.
Assam Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has emerged a strong face for BJP not only in Assam but for the whole of Northeast India. A former member of the Indian National Congress, Sarma joined Bharatiya Janata Party in August 2015 just before the Assam election in 2016 and was appointed convener of North-East Democratic Alliance(NEDA) soon after the party’s victory. Himanta has been a dynamic figure in the domain of politics even before the BJP’s victory in Assam.
An important point to be mentioned in this regard is that Himanta was ironically the person who played a major role in bringing back Congress by toppling Don Kupar government in 2009 in Meghalaya. The Congress being the single largest party with 26 members during the 2008 general elections, was given a chance to form the government, but could not muster enough strength to attain the magic figure. It was then only that Meghalaya Progressive Alliance under the leadership of Dr. Donkupar Roy, took over the reins of the government and administration with a combination of the Nationalist Congress Party, the regional United Democratic Party, backed by smaller parties.
The defected legislators at that time were reported to be missing and to have taken refuge in Guwahati a few days before the begining of the Budget session, in which it was also reported that the Assam Health minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sharma played an important role in the defection avalanche. In fact, the Assam minister gave a statement in Guwahati saying, “We have done our work in Meghalaya. What happens next will unravel during the floor test the MPA will face on Tuesday”, that was on March 16, 2008, a day after the begining of the Budget session. The entire episode was marked by unprecedented events in the political and legislative history of Meghalaya, being the 21st state in the country attaining full statehood on January 21, in the year 1972.
Now, with a firm hold over his position as a BJP spokesperson, directing all his focus on BJP’s victory in Manipur, Himanta Biswa will then target the one who is considered his rival, Mukul Sangma in Meghalaya. Since the time he shifted his affinity to BJP, he has constantly been a thorn for Congress in Meghalaya . Also we may add that it is evident that if BJP wins Manipur, he will target Meghalaya next as there already is evident dissension in the
Congress ranks, making itself an easy target. He has been in the Congress and knows the inner machinations of that party well enough to counter them effectively. He is perhaps the only BJP leader from outside Manipur who knows Manipur and its politicians well and this may also be applied in case of Meghalaya and other Congress ruled states.
Whatever may be the case, the outcome of Manipur elections will give a good forecast of the impending political scenario in other Northeast Indian states, whereby the dynamism of one BJP leader could literally change the fate of a state.
-By Shweta Raj Kanwar for TNT- The Northeast Today News