The BJP Central Election Committee is set to meet today to finalise the potential candidates for Tripura and Nagaland.
Tripura goes for voting on February 16, and hence time is running out, while elections in two other Northeastern States, Meghalaya and Nagaland, will take place on February 27.
Tripura Chief Minister Dr Manik Saha, state President Rajiv Bhattacharjee, Election Incharge Mahesh Sharma, BJP Northeast convenor Sambit Patra and former Chief Minister Biplab Deb held a meeting with party’s national president J P Nadda and Home Minister Amit Shah on January 26 here.
“We are well prepared and battle ready. We are confident that we will win the elections. People believe and praise Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his commitment for the development of the northeast,” a party leader said.
The BJP ousted the Leftists in fiercely contested polls in 2018. The communists are now marginalised and have rather helplessly ended up settling for an alliance with their traditional rival, the Congress.
While the CPI-M led Left Front will contest 47 seats in the 60-member assembly, the Congress party will field candidates in 13. There is much speculation on whether the BJP will opt for an alliance with a tribal-based party, Tipra Motha. In 2018, the BJP contested the polls in alliance with another tribal-based party, the Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura (IPFT).
While the BJP had won 36 seats after contesting 51, the IPFT was able to pick up eight out of nine seats it had contested. But IPFT has lost ground during the last five years.
The Tipra Motha Chief Pradyot Bikram Manikya DebBarma has said in a Facebook posting that:
“Contrary to rumours there has been NO talks of seat sharing as reported with any party! We have received intimation from the Ministry of Home Affairs that they would like to discuss our demand for a constitutional solution to our demand of Greater Tipraland”.
Meanwhile, the BJP high command is likely to nominate its candidates for Nagaland, wherein the saffron party is contesting the polls in alliance with Neiphiu Rio-led NDPP. The regional party will contest 40 seats, and the BJP will contest the remaining 20, as was the seat share in 2018 and again finalised lately.
However, there have been protests by a large number of BJP workers and ticket aspirants seeking a review of the seat share deal. The BJP won 12 seats in 2018 after having contested only 20 seats.
For Meghalaya, the list of candidates may be finalised by the BJP CEC a few days later. The BJP election committee of Meghalaya is likely to meet today in Shillong to review and shortlist the candidates’ names and recommend the same to the central leadership.
Meghalaya BJP spokesperson M Kharkrang has said the saffron party would run the next government in the state.
“When we ask why Meghalaya is being deprived of development, we get the answer that it is because we have failed to bring a BJP Government. This time, we will ensure that BJP runs the government here”.
The Lotus party, which has dumped the NPP of Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, is set to field candidates in all 60 assembly segments. The party won only two seats in the state in 2018.