Sounding the Poll Bugle in NE
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Sounding the Poll Bugle in NE

Sidharth Bedi Varma | January 05, 2019 12:33 hrs


Prime Minister Modi has kick started his 2019 poll yatra with a bang. His campaign in Manipur will start off 8 new projects and by laying the foundation stone for these projects, the BJP has made their intention towards the Northeast, more “concrete.”

 

Then of course, the Silchar campaign drew a lot of attention considering that anti-BJP sentiment is brewing in the region because of a large number of Bengali-Hindus who voted for the BJP in the last elections were left out of the National Register of Citizens draft.

 

The NRC still, to a lot of people, seems like hogwash. Until the time there is no concrete decision on what happens to the people who are not on the list, the SC will continue to issue extensions and the NRC will continue to make headlines, while becoming insignificant with the passage of time.

 

The BJP did promise a lot of ‘poriborton’ (change) and development in their election campaign and infrastructure wise, the region agrees that yes, there have been improvements (regardless of whether it comes from piggybacking other projects by previous governments). For this matter, the BJP’s follow through has been better than most batsmen.

 

But where the BJP continues to fail is “actual action.” The sealing of the border between the northeast states, Bangladesh and Myanmar had major thrust in the BJP’s election campaign, but that seems to have not been actioned upon.

 

BJP’s presence has also given rise to militant groups in the region once again – a force that was well suppressed about 15 years ago. Rebel groups like ULFA feed and exploit the sentiments of the people of Assam with issues such as the Citizenship Amendment Bill and NRC.

 

All in all, the BJP has played close to the chest when it comes to the NER and they can only hope that people in the region agree and give it another chance in 2019 and then 2021 again...

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