TWIN bloom

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 04 Mar 2018 10:30:41

FROM a non-starter five years ago to dethroning a 25-year-old ruling entity, the Bharatiya Janata Party has scripted a glorious success story in the North-Eastern State of Tripura. The BJP has not just managed to defeat the over two decades old Manik Sarkar -led CPI-M Government but it has also garnered the clear majority that seemed a far-fetched dream given the complex scenarios and rapidly changing poll equations in North-East. 

The thumping victory in Tripura is a stupendous achievement for the BJP’s extremely inclusive ‘Act East Policy’. During the high-pitched poll campaign, yet again engineered by party President Mr Amit Shah, Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi had termed N-E States as ‘New Emerging’ Indian States. The policy vision was clear -- and laudable -- for BJP while going for the Assembly elections -- include all in mainstream India.

After the electoral success in Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh, the BJP was in action mode for the rest of the North Eastern States. It has done well in Meghalaya and is set to form Government in Nagaland with the help of former ally Naga Peoples Front (NPF) but the biggest catch is Tripura -- an almost impregnable Left bastion. By breaching the last remaining ‘Red Fort’ the BJP has yet again cemented its position as a party with vision towards inclusive development and not just selective politics.

Forging alliance with prominent tribal groups in Tripura, the BJP matched CPM slogan to slogan and its big development pitch went down well with Tripura’s young voters. The massive gains of 43 seats out of 59 is an overwhelming assertion of BJP’s perfect campaigning that touched the core issues.

The massive push for development in North-Eastern states is cutting ice with the hitherto neglected regions. Earlier Governments had a limited vision towards the N-E states considering the region only at philosophical level. The Prime Minister summed up the feeling of the people in the region who, he said, had a sense of alienation. Gauging the general mood the BJP took perfect corrective measures to remove the perception. The big majority to the party is an endorsement of people’s faith in politics of development.

The foundation that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) laid with relentless and silent social work for decades by keeping the Indian culture intact in the North-East has been deftly utilised by the BJP to change the political narrative in the region. The RSS did the groundwork through social work without disturbing the religious weave or getting disturbed by political diversions.

The Narendra Modi-led Government attaches huge importance to the region looking at North-East as a gateway to far east. Stability in North-East, that has had jittery borders, is of paramount importance for India’s foreign policy. India has established its place in the West but the East always remained on the fringes of foreign policy makers. The status was changed when Mr Modi removed the hyphen.

The results also sound a warning for the Left Front. Even after discounting the sarcasm in Mr Shah’s jibe there are enough reasons to believe that ‘Left is not right for the country’.