Sunil Deodhar and 3 Others Who Led the BJP Campaign in Northeast
In yet another corner of the country, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has swept the polls. The election results in the three northeastern states – Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland – are more than overwhelming for the saffron party.
In a historic victory, the BJP has dethroned four-time Chief Minister Manik Sarkar in Tripura, has made impressive inroads in Meghalaya and in Nagaland its alliance with the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) is neck-and-neck with the Naga People's Front (NPF).
But who are the BJP party workers responsible for these impeccable gains in the Northeast? Let’s take a look.
The former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) man Sunil Deodhar was made state in-charge of BJP’s National Executive Committee in Tripura, two years ago, to lead the saffron army against the 20-year-old Left Front government.
Before that Deodhar was managing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 2014 Lok Sabha elections campaign in Varanasi. The loyal Modi-man also worked as BJP’s poll-strategist in Dahod district of Gujarat in 2013.
Deodhar led the BJP’s industrious campaign involving around 42,000 workers in Tripura. According to NDTV, the workers met the voters every fortnight in the last six months.
Fifty-two-year old Deodhar is also credited for bringing the party’s chief ministerial candidate Biplab Kumar Deb into the political fray.
Biplab Kumar Deb
Biplab Kumar Deb, the BJP’s Tripura unit president, is touted to be the party's first-ever chief minister in Tripura. At the age of 48, Deb has risen from being a gym instructor to a key RSS worker in the Northeast to being BJP’s Tripura president.
Deb, who won from the Banamalipur constituency in Agartala, has promised to implement the 7th Pay Commission recommendations in the state. During campaigning, he also promised new jobs and more investment in the traditional sectors of the state, like the bamboo industry.
Himanta Biswa Sarma
Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sharma has been one of the BJP's main men in decimating the Congress from the Northeast. Sarma, who deflected from the Congress to the BJP in 2015, is the convener of the newly constituted North-East Democratic Alliance (NEDA).
Since Sarma's entry, the BJP has formed governments in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and now it is looking to form one in Tripura.
At the age of 49, Assam’s minister of health, education and finance, Sarma has emerged as one of the key strategists in the BJP's election-winning machinery. He has facilitated the entry of many other Congress workers into the BJP.
BJP’s General Secretary Ram Madhav is a former member of the RSS and a key national strategist for Amit Shah.
Madhav worked as a journalist for over 20 years with RSS sponsored publications and authored more than twelve books. He also serves as the Director of the India Foundation, an RSS-aligned think-tank.
In the run-up to the elections in the three states, Madhav built the team of campaigners and oversaw the party’s ‘Act East Policy’.
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