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Miniscule presence of INDIA parties in NE gives BJP a head start
Miniscule presence of INDIA parties in NE gives BJP a head start

Guwahati/Agartala, Aug 13 : The Congress led Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) is yet to get any ally in the eight northeastern states even though the grand old party governed almost all the states for decades.

Of the 498 MLAs in eight states, the Congress has only 48 members (9.63 per cent) while the BJP has 183 members (36.74 per cent).  Of the 25 Lok Sabha seats, 14 are currently with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) while the Congress has four and seven seats are held by state parties and Independents. 

The Assam’s All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) in Assam, Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) in Nagaland, Mizo National Front (MNF) in Mizoram, National People’s Party (NPP) in Meghalaya, Naga People's Front (NPF) in Manipur, Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) in Sikkim and an Independent (Naba Kumar Sarania) in Assam have one seat each.  Of the 25 Lok Sabha seats, Assam has 14 parliamentary constituencies, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Tripura have two seats each, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim have one seat each. 

The Congress after governing most of the northeastern states for many decades lost Assam in 2016 and Manipur to the BJP in 2017. In 2018 it was defeated in Meghalaya by the NPP led alliance and in the same year in Mizoram by the MNF.  With the Congress slipping in its stronghold, the eight northeastern states are now dominated by the BJP and the state parties, which are indispensable for the national parties to govern the region.  The saffron party in alliance with the other parties is now running governments in Assam (since 2016), Arunachal Pradesh (since 2016), Manipur (since 2017) and Tripura (since 2018).   Meghalaya’s NPP, Nagaland’s NDPP, Mizoram’s MNF and Sikkim’s SKM with a solid political base are governing their respective states and are allies of the BJP led NDA.  The NPP, headed by Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma, however, has a substantial base in Manipur, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and a reasonable number of MLAs in these three northeastern states besides Meghalaya, where the party is dominating the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government.  In the NDA meeting held on July 18 in New Delhi, as many as eleven parties from the eight northeastern states took part.  The parties include, NPP, NDPP, MNF, SKM, Indigenous People's Front of Tripura, Naga People's Front, Asom Gana Parishad, United People's Party Liberal, Kuki People's Alliance, United Democratic Party, Hill State People's Democratic Party.

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