Guwahati, August 14, 2019:
Somewhat bafflingly, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has its origins , has dug its claws firmly into the Northeast, the land with the most diverse set of peoples, religions, and ethnicities. With 10 Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) MLAs joining the BJP yesterday, the party has office become the biggest player in the 8 Northeast Indian states.
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However, this ascension of the BJP did not take place overnight. It took meticulous planning and foresight. After being fired by News 18, an Ambani-owned channel that recently laid off almost all of its NE correspondents, a disgruntled former employee told Inside Northeast, “I think the Ambanis are gloves-in-hand with the BJP, and since their agenda of installing the party as the most powerful political player in the region has been fulfilled, they do not see any reason to continue carrying news from the NE. This all seems to be part of a plan.”
Such are the tensions that are simmering in the Northeast, where either the BJP or its NEDA affiliates have successfully formed Governments, by assimilating local parties and keeping them under the NEDA umbrella.
However, the local indigenous populations are not all that impressed. The protests that shook the region after the BJP’s intent to pass the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is testimony to that. The Christians and other minority communities fear that they will soon be reduced to a minority in their own lands and have to undergo a ‘saffronization’. After winning the 2019 General Elections, the saffron party has slowly, but surely strengthened its hold on the NE as well, with defections from previous top party Congress becoming commonplace now.
“Whoever is in power in the Centre, wins the elections in Northeast. That is a fact”, says a citizen of Kohima, Nagaland, on condition of anonymity. However, the BJP’s rise to the top of the political pile in the Northeast has been greatly challenging because of the message of ‘Hindutva’ that is generally associated with the party. However, this world has seen the occurrence of things even stranger than this.
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