Friends Turning Foes in North East Democratic Alliance
Friends it seems are turning foes in the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) formed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that unites all non-Congress parties in the northeast of India.
It appears on the ground that the NEDA alliance is crumbling and it, sooner than later, might witness partners parting ways as open mudslinging on public forums between them clearly gives a signal that all is not well within the alliance.
NEDA Convenor Himanta Biswa Sarma, in a rally in Manipur recently, tore apart one of the prominent partners of the alliance, Nationalist Peoples' Party (NPP), led by the Meghalaya Chief Minister, Conrad Sangma and belittled the party’s presence in national politics terming it as a non-entity.
“NPP is a small party that doesn’t have any presence in national politics,” said Sarma at a public rally in Manipur.
Clearly, the comments demeaning one of its prominent partners in the region openly at a public forum does not augur well for the alliance which was formed in 2016 uniting all non-Congress parties in the northeast.
An uneasy relationship was going on for quite some time between NPP and BJP where both are partners in the Conrad Sangma-led MDA coalition government in Meghalaya. BJP leaders in Meghalaya are openly criticizing the government on various issues.
However, the NPP leadership is tight lipped on the issue, but sources in the party said that public outbursts by BJP leaders about the party is affecting the morale of the party workers.
Sooner than later, Sangma has to take a call and call the bluff out. Notably, Sangma had said that BJP can leave the MDA alliance if the party is not happy.
Another major constituent in NEDA, the Mizo National Front (MNF) led by the Chief Minister Zoramthanga of Mizoram is in open conflict with the BJP ruled Assam on the border dispute.
So it’s a situation that resembles a fight between country cousins. BJP is an ally in the MNF government in Mizoram.
A few months back, the BJP unit in Mizoram had asked the ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) to step out of the NDA alliance if the party is not on an equal terms with the saffron party.
The BJP’s demand follows Chief Minister and MNF president Zoramthanga’s remarks that his party is against the BJP’s ideologies and that it will continue to oppose the saffron party in term of principles and ideologies.
“No doubt the MNF is a constituent member of NEDA. But this does not imply that the party is accepting the BJP’s ideologies cent percent. We are the NEDA partner and not the BJP member,” Zoramthanga had said.
The difference between NEDA partners were stark on issues like the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the inter-state border dispute.
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- Bharatiya Janata Party
- non-Congress parties
- Nationalist Peoples' Party