BJP Alliance Plans to Make Northeast ‘Congress-Free’

Amit Shah will brainstorm with regional allies in New Delhi to oust the Congress from the northeast.

2 min read
BJP chief Amit Shah.

With the BJP-led NDA now in power in five of the eight northeastern states, party chief Amit Shah will brainstorm with regional allies in New Delhi on 5 September a strategy to expand their base in other states and achieve the target of making the region “Congress-free.”

Five Chief Ministers, three former Chief Ministers, and other allies from the Northeast Democratic Alliance (NEDA) will hold a day-long meeting in New Delhi with an agenda of safe borders, inclusive development, and national integration, BJP general secretary Bhupender Yadav said.

BJP to Take Over Northeast from Congress

Since it stormed to power at the Centre in 2014, the BJP has pulled out all stops to form governments in the region where it was never a force to reckon with.

Yadav said the BJP and its allies are in power in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, and Sikkim. He underlined his party's push to win three others states in the region, Meghalaya and Mizoram – both ruled by the Congress – and the CPI(M)-ruled Tripura.

The Assembly polls in Meghalaya and Tripura are slated for February 2018 and due in Mizoram later in November this year.

Our aim is inclusive development of the region, making its borders safe and promoting national integration. We are also working towards a Congress-mukt (Congress-free) northeast.
Bhupender Yadav, BJP general secretary

The BJP has joined hands with like-minded parties to form the NEDA, a group of several northeastern political parties.

This is the second NEDA conclave; the first was held in Assam in July 2016.

NEDA convener Himanta Biswa Sarma, a Minister in the BJP government in Assam, who has been a key figure in expanding the party's footprints in the region, said inter- state disputes had come down following its formation.

Northeastern states have used the NEDA platform to sort out boundary, law, and other disputes, he claimed.

To a question about opposition to beef consumption by sections of saffron outfits, Sarma said the NEDA respects local ethos and people's privacy over what they eat. Beef is a staple diet in parts of the region.

Sarma also referred to the NEDA's request to President Ram Nath Kovind to have a presidential estate in the region like the ones in Hyderabad. It will help the cause of national integration, he said.

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