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The Bharatiya Janata Party’s stupendous performance in Meghalaya and Nagaland, especially its astounding victory in Tripura has been received with mixed reactions in Tamil Nadu. The ruling AIADMK in the State is immensely pleased over the outcome, as the insiders in the party point out that the strong BJP at the Centre would provide them an opportunity to survive, if not accelerate, at least till the next Lok Sabha elections slated for next year.

Both the state Chief Minister Edapadi A Palanisamy and the Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam lauded the fabulous victory of the BJP in Tripura with its “Chalo Paltai”(let us change) slogan, considered to be the citadel of the Communist Party of India(Marxist) CPI(M) for a quarter century at a stretch.

There is no iota of doubt that the BJP has made an inroad into Northeast of late. For instance, the party is already in power at Assam and Manipur and its rapid stride in these two states is significant to note. Now, with mere two MLAs in Meghalaya, the BJP is part of the post-poll alliance led by the National People’s Party in the present Government led by Conrad Sangma. Interestingly, Eastern Panorama had rightly predicted the victory of NPP in Meghalaya before the polls. The said magazine was also right in anticipating in its issue earlier that Congress is down but not out in the State, if one looks at its ability to win 21 seats out of 60 seats. The Congress also needs to be appreciated, as individually it has won more than seats, compared to any other party. Even the ruling NPP could win only in 19 constituencies. The lady luck has also smiled on the present Government, as United Democratic Party, led by its President Donkupar Roy with six seats in their kitty, chose to remain with NPP alliance, in spite of the Congress President and its former Chief Minister Mukul Sangma and other party leaders urging him to forge the UDP’s alliance with the Congress. Sangma even went to the extent of offering Roy to rule the destiny of Meghalaya to prevent the BJP from occupying power.

However, the UDP chief shunned aside the offer. It may be recalled that the senior Congress leader Kamal Nath, who was sent as an observer after the poll, said in an interview to a television channel that his party was confident of forming the Government in Meghalaya, as it has individually won more constituencies than of other parties. The BJP itself has to be blamed for its inept performance in Meghalaya. Eastern Panorama was apt in forecasting before the poll in its issue that the BJP has not done proper home work for the election, as its preparation was at the barest minimum, if the result in favour of the party is of any indication. It looked, as if the BJP was only preparing to improve its performance from the previous assembly elections. For instance, National Party President Amit Shah said in an interview after the election that the BJP has showcased its potential in Meghalaya and remained content with its improved performance in the State. It was surprising to hear such a statement from Amit Shah, as the BJP not only possess dedicated cadres, but also known for its credibility organization wise. Interestingly, the electorate in Meghalaya had elected only three Independents this time, compared to 13 in the last assembly elections. Moreover, out of the 60 members of the assembly only 18 MLAs were re-elected. There were no two opinions that the BJP had performed well in Nagaland when the party could win 12 seats on its own in alliance with Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party’s 16, compared to 27 constituencies won by Nagaland People’s Front out of 59 constituencies. It was a welcome relief to the NDPP-BJP combine that the Janata Dal(United) and an Independent candidate have extended their support to the Government, although BJP had an apprehension earlier that the JD(U) leader and the Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, might not extend his party’s support but Nitish proved the Sangh Parivar wrong.

K.V. Venugopal

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