North-East people are not alien in Delhi —Ravi Shankar Prasad
BJP North-East India Sampark Cell celebrates Christmas with NE people in Delhi
“North-East is a fine garden and I want it to be always filled with flowers and scent. We need North-Eastern people more than they need us. We need to give special attention to the seven sisters in terms of employment generation, infrastructure development and many more. North-East has a potential of generating 40000 megawatt power but not even 5 per cent is generated. North-Eastern people are not an alien in Delhi,” said BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad while speaking at a function organised by BJP’s North-East India Sampark Cell (NEISC) on December 21.
Shri Sunil Deodhar, Convener of the NEISC, said the Congress has shown no vision and thinking for the North-East. BJP is the only party who thinks about the Vanvasis and has formed North-East India Sampark cell for the betterment of the people of the region. We have done a lot for the sportsperson of North-East and if we come to power in 2014 we are ready to change the scenario. The results of the 2014 general elections from the North-East will be shocking for the whole nation.
“There is so much of diversity in India and still we have been able to maintain unity. Delhi is a ‘Mini India’ and it is matter of great pride and privilege that we are born in India. BJP has worked so much for the North-East Indians and in future it will continue to do so. North-East is my first love. I believe that 2014 is going to be a great year in the history of India, where most of the things will change. Future will be better than past under the leadership of Shri Narendra Modi”, said Dr Harsh Vardhan, senior BJP leader.
Shri Kiren Rijiju from Arunachal Pradesh said Delhi is our capital and we should feel at home here. India is a huge country, if somebody do not understand you it is not intentional, it is only lack of communication, this does not mean that North-Eastern is not a part of India. What we need is to come together and remove the hurdles. North-Eastern people love India in the same way the others do. (Nishant Kumar Azad)
Jyoti Lal Chowdhury, Silchar
Questions are now being discussed and debated in political circles about the impact of Modi wave in North-East. The way the BJP with Narendra Modi at the apex of its poll campaign and as Prime Ministerial candidate has won convincingly in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh as well as come close to the race for power in New Delhi has quite naturally encouraged the leadership in North-East states for a positive outcome. Truly, except Assam where it has 4 MPs, it is yet to have any representative in the Parliament from 6 other states of Manipur, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland.
Considered against this backdrop, ground work for building up and strengthening organisational base has been given priority in these states. Kabindra Purkayastha, MP and a founding father of the party in North-East, told Organiser over telephone, “an action plan for the region is being prepared to give a definite direction to take the message of the party to the ground level” and added to say “NaMo factor is definitely going to impact even the Christian states, looking at the trend in favour of BJP.”
Buoyed up by people’s rejection of Congress, Assam BJP President, Sarvanand Sonowal, said it was the end of the ‘most corrupt era in governance.’ People would vote for BJP in order to free the country from Congress and corruption. Narendra Modi, as he said, has become a symbol of development and good governance. Even Assam Minister of Cooperative, Siddique Ahmed, has gone on record to emulate Gujarat for dairy development in the State. The movement started by Modi will have its culmination in the Lok Sabha elections as well. Bijoya Chakravarty, MP, scoffed at Chief Minister of Assam, Tarun Gogoi, for his traditional ‘Mayang Magic’ to counter Modi’s juggernaut which only exposed the slippery ground on which Congress stood and an expression of frustration. She was confident of more seats in Assam.
In the State of Manipur, the party is upbeat as, BJP national executive member Shantikumar Sharma said many political heavyweights joining the party indicate that it will provide greener political pastures than Congress. Though BJP is yet to open its account in Lok Sabha elections in Manipur, State leaders are confident of winning both the inner and outer Manipur Parliamentary seats.
The scenario is not different in Meghalaya where party’s support to P A Sangma, former Lok Sabha Speaker and the Chief of National People’s Party (NPP), for the post of President of India is expected to create enough space for it to tilt result in the State. PA Sangma is an influential tribal and Christian reader of North-East with clean image and also a trusted politician. His daughter, Agatha K Sangma, former MP and Central Minister, and two sons, Conrad Kongkal Sangma, former leader of the Opposition in the Assembly and James, MLA, wield enough influence in the politics of the State. Though the party is yet to enter the Assembly or Parliament, if it can gain the support of P A Sangma, the State leadership expects to win the seat now being held by Congress.
BJP is also looking for allies in Mizoram, another Christian State, where it has been staking its claim since the 1993 Assembly elections. In Nagaland too, BJP leadership hopes to find alliance to forge with for the only MP seat now being held by Nagaland People’s Front.
The BJP has earned the confidence of Christians in Goa earlier. The same formula can be applied with regional variation in the North-Eastern states to elucidate the support of the Christian-dominated North-Eastern states keeping in view the 2014 grand finale of the electoral battle.
Mamata’s Delhi visit
A Tryst with fractured “Federal Front” plan
Asim Kumar Mitra
On the eve of declaration of the five State Assembly election results, Mamata Banerjee, Chief Minister of West Bengal, made it a point to be present in the capital of India. What was the purpose? She had a definite plan to give a shape of her brain child “Federal Front” as she had a definite idea of the victory of non-BJP and to a lesser extent non-INC parties. And for that reason she had made it a point to visit the Parliament House so that she could have direct interaction with the Opposition leaders to forge support for her much publicised “Federal Front” consisting of non-Congress and non-BJP parties. But the shock she had received there, perhaps she did not expect such a scenario would emerge after the declaration of poll results of five states.
On the very first day of her visit to Delhi, Mamata went to the Parliament House. She told reporters that people had been fed up with the Congress and they had rejected Congress from their heart. Hence this was a very opportune moment for the regional parties to stronger. And she had enthusiastically asserted that “Federal Front” would definitely be formed. But this enthusiasm was immediately evaporated after she came back from the Parliament House to the house of Mukul Roy, MP, and General Secretary of TMC, where she stayed for the remaining days. Mamata arrived Delhi on December 10 and back to Kolkata on the night of December 12. For these three days Mamata did not go out of the house. During this period she had been either loitering on the verandas of the house or chatting with the colleagues.
On the very first day of her visit to Delhi she met a number of political leaders at the Central Hall of the Parliament including Jaganmohan Reddy of AP, BJP leaders Advani, Rajnath Singh, Ravi Shankar Prasad, AIADMK MP Thambi Durai and had a talk for quite some time. Although Mulayam Singh Yadav of Samajwadi Party was present at the Central Hall, he did not meet Mamata. Whereas JDU leader Sharad Yadav said, “Why should we go to her? If she feels any need she would come to us.”
After coming back to Kolkata, Mamata had clarified her position as to her decision to stick to the policy of keeping distance with BJP and its Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi. Mamata said, “We are not going to change our stand in this regard.”
As Mamata said that the “Federal Front” would be formed after the Parliamentary election of 2014 was over. But the indication that had been evident in the results of recent Assembly elections had made the situation complicated and the ruling party of West Bengal was in a great dilemma as to the holding of power by the regional parties in future. Even political observers are not sure about what kind of post-parliamentary scenario would emerge. This confusion would prevail for some time to come.