In a seismic shift in the political environment of the North East region, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has emerged as a formidable force, upending the traditional stronghold of the Congress party. Since 2014, the BJP has made significant inroads, marking its presence in key states across the region.

In Assam, historically a Congress bastion, the BJP’s rise has been nothing short of remarkable. From a mere 5 seats in the 2011 Assembly elections, the BJP surged to a staggering 60 seats in 2016, forming a part of the NDA alliance which clinched a total of 86 seats. The trend continued in the 2021 Assembly elections, with the BJP maintaining its stronghold with 60 seats. The party’s success story extended to the Lok Sabha polls as well, where it increased its tally from 7 seats in 2014 to 9 seats in 2019.

In Arunachal Pradesh, which has 2 Lok Sabha seats and seats in the Assembly, the BJP’s performance is applaudable. In the 2019 Assembly elections in Arunachal Pradesh, the BJP won 41 seats, improving its tally by 30 seats with respect to the previous 2014 Assembly elections. The BJP also won both Lok Sabha seats in the State and improved its tally by one seat with respect to the previous Lok Sabha election.

Manipur has a similar number of seats in the assembly and Lok Sabha as in Arunachal Pradesh. In the 2014 Lok Sabha poll in Manipur, the Congress party won both Lok Sabha seats, but it lost both seats. In the 2019 Lok Sabha poll, the BJP increased its tally from zero to 1 in 2019. In this Lok Sabha poll, the BJP may win both seats either on or with its ally. In Assembly emons in Manipur, the BJP won 32 seats in 2022. In the 2012 Manipur Assembly elections, the BJP was not able to open its account. In 2017, the BJP won 21 seats and increased it to 32 in successive 2022 Assembly elections. This has further shown the BJP’s growing relevance in the NE region.

Tripura, once a stronghold of the Left, witnessed a dramatic transformation with the BJP’s ascent. From failing to secure a single seat in the 2013 Assembly elections, the BJP surged to victory in 2018, clinching a clear majority with 36 seats. The momentum continued in the 2023 Assembly elections, with the BJP maintaining its majority.

In Nagaland, the BJP’s rise has been equally noteworthy. Winning 12 seats in the 2018 Assembly elections, the party expanded its base by 11 seats. This trend persisted in the subsequent 2023 elections, with the BJP maintaining its tally and increasing its vote share by 3.50 percent.

Mizoram has 40 member assembly and a lone Lok Sabha seat. The local outfit Mizo National Front (MNF) is running the Government and has representation in Lok Sabha too. The Congress party represented Mizoram Lok Sabha seat in 2009 and 2014 continuously but lost in 2019.

Meghalaya, boasting two Lok Sabha seats and a 60-member Assembly, presents ample opportunity for the BJP to enhance its performance in the state. The late P. A. Sangma, a towering figure in Meghalaya politics, not only served as the Speaker of the Lok Sabha but also challenged the authority of Sonia Gandhi within the Congress party, alongside Sharad Pawar and Tariq Anwar.

Sangma’s departure from the Congress party saw him join the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) before eventually forming his own party, dealing a decisive blow to the Congress’s presence in Meghalaya.

As the BJP’s footprint expands across the North East, traditional political alliances are being reshaped, with the Congress party witnessing a gradual erosion of its base. With the 2023 Lok Sabha polls on the horizon, the BJP-led NDA alliance is poised to further consolidate its dominance, signaling a new era in North East politics.

MTNews Desk

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