New Delhi: The Election Commission will announce poll schedules for Nagaland, Meghalaya and Tripura at 2.30 PM, January 18.
Elections are due in three northeastern states next month.
BJP is in power in all three states. It heads the coalition government in Tripura while it shares power with regional partners NDPP and NPF in Nagaland and Conrad Sangma-led NPP in Meghalaya.
However, in Meghalaya, NPP and BJP will contest the polls separately. In Nagaland, BJP has agreed to play second fiddle and contest only 20 candidates against 40 by the NDPP in the 60-member assembly.
Analysts say many in Northeastern christian States, such as Nagaland and Meghalaya, will prefer BJP hoping to accelerate development. In fact, the Nagaland unit leaders have repeatedly urged the party high command to review the 20-40 arrangements.
The ‘Moditva phenomenon’ was at its best in the just concluded polls in Gujarat.
The just concluded polls in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh and this year’s elections in three Northeastern States and also, Mizoram and later in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana and also in Karnataka, will set the ball rolling for the 2024 General Elections.
In their respective speeches, both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President J P Nadda have urged the party workers to struggle hard for the ensuing elections.
In Tripura, which was once a communist forte, the saffron party will hope for an easier contest with rivals Congress and CPI-M marginalised.
A new tribal-based party may make a difference, but it cannot have a say in more than 20 seats.
The BJP’s mega promise in the Northeast is to provide a corruption-free government focused on people’s socio-economic development.
The hilly state of Meghalaya has nearly 3 million people with a 75 per cent christian population.
BJP’s National Vice President and in-charge Meghalaya is a Naga veteran M Chuba Ao. A Christian himself, Ao is confident of a much better show this time than the two-seats win in 2018.
The NPP of Conrad Sangma in Meghalaya is faced with an anti-incumbency and a series of corruption allegations.
The Congress was in power for 15 years till it was ousted in 2018, but the grand old party has lost veterans such as Mukul Sangma to Trinamool, and the party base has crumbled too.
Christians, who make up 90 per cent of Nagaland’s 1.95 million people, in 2018 showed a preference for the BJP when the party could win 12 out of 20 seats it fought.
The Central Nagaland region comprising 25 seats and especially the Mokokchung district, is witnessing a pro-saffron wave even this year.