By Saiyed Moziz Imam Zaidi
New Delhi, March 3 (SocialNews.XYZ) The northeast states which were once the strongholds of the Congress have now turned into BJP citadels where the saffron party has gradually thrown the Congress out of the political game with the help of it's regional allies. In the just concluded elections to three states there, the BJP has captured Tripura for the second time in a row, in Nagaland it has won with the NDPP and in Meghalaya the party was quick to support the NPP.
The Congress is in crisis with the party splitting in various states. In Meghalaya Mukul Sangma walked over to the Trinamool Congress with all his MLAs and the result was that the TMC and the Congress split their votes. Sangma was the former chief minister and after his departure, Vincent Pala became the face of the Congress party in the assembly polls.
Overall, the Congress party put up a poor show in Meghalaya, managing to win only five seats this time. In 2018, the Congress had won 21 seats and was the single largest party in the state.
However, the grand old party could not form the government then and Conrad Sangma's National People's Party along with the BJP and some smaller regional parties had been ruling the hill state for the last five years.
Similarly in Tripura former Congress leader Pradyut Manakya formed the Tipra Motha and got 13 seats, denting the Congress. According to the results declared by the Election Commission on Thursday, the tribal-based Tipra Motha Party (TMP), which for the first time contested 42 seats on its own, emerged as the second largest party securing 13 seats. The CPI-M won 11 seats while the Congress bagged three.
The CPI-M led Left Front, which contested the elections in a seat-sharing arrangement with the Congress, had fielded 47 candidates while 13 seats were allotted to the Congress.
A Congress leader comparing the results said if you compare the results of 2018 the Congress has improved but it was not able to match the BJP's money power.
The ruling Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) and its ally the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) retained power in Nagaland for a second successive term by winning 37 seats together in the 60-member Assembly, The Congress, which governed the state for many years till 2003, had contested 23 seats but drew a blank once again. The grand old party had no legislator in the outgoing Assembly also.
The NDPP won 25 seats, eight more than its 2018 tally, while the BJP secured 12 seats, the same as in the last elections.
The Congress loss in the entire region is due to former Congressman and Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma who had been at the forefront of the BJP campaign and prepared the ground for the saffron party.
Sarma said that BJP national president J.P. Nadda has advised the Meghalaya unit of the party to support the NPP in forming the next government.
He wrote on Twitter: "@SangmaConrad, Chief Minister of Meghalaya, called @AmitShahji, Home Minister, and sought his support and blessings in forming the new government."
Notably, Conrad Sangma and Sarma held a meeting on Wednesday at a Guwahati hotel a day ahead of the counting of votes.
But apart from election strategy, the real reason lies in the fact that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has visited the northeast region more than 50 times in the last eight years, while various ministers have visited the region over 400 times.
The government has approved schemes of the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (MDoNER) with an outlay of Rs 12,882.2 crore for the balance period of the 15th Finance Commission (2022-23 to 2025-26).
According to the government there has been a 74 per cent reduction in insurgency incidents, 60 per cent reduction in attacks on security forces and 89 per cent reduction in civilian casualties in the northeast. About 8,000 youth have surrendered and joined the mainstream, ushering in a better future for themselves and their families.
The actual expenditure in the last four years under MDoNER schemes was Rs 7,534.46 crore, whereas the funds available for the next four years till 2025-26 are Rs 19,482.20 crore (2.6 times approx).
While the Congress woke up only during the elections the BJP's ground work continued in these states and it's active politics in Assam influenced the people of other states.
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