Sunday, May 26, 2019

Can BJP Make Way Into Mizoram?

by herbertp343 (writer), , December 11, 2018

BJP hopes to play king maker by cornering some seats and increasing its sway in the region.

Mizoram election news

As the North eastern state of Mizoram with a voter count of just over 7 lakhs goes into polls, all eyes are fixed on the poll results. For the last 2 terms or close to a decade now, the state has been ruled by Congress and is in a way the last bastion of the party in North east. The Congress and Mizo National are the two key parties here and power has shifted between the two since the formation of the state in 1987. As per Mizoram election news, the turnout in the current election has been close to 75% which is lower than in 2013 when close to 80% of the voters turned out to vote.

BJP has been making consistent inroads in the north eastern part of the country since 2014 and this election, would like to make its presence felt in the state of Mizoram too. A case in point is that the saffron party fielded 39 candidates on the 40 seats in the state. The congress had won 34 out of 40 seats in 2013 and the current polls will be key for both Congress and BJP. While Congress is looking to fight anti-incumbency and retain its stronghold over the state, BJP hopes to play king maker by cornering some seats and increasing its sway in the region.

The seriousness of BJP can be gauzed from the fact that its top leadership including PM Modi came down to the state for campaigns. It is yet to be seen if this translates to any real advantage for the party. The exit polls still suggest that the advantage may lie with MNF.

The population of the state is 95% tribal and almost 87% are Christians. With the population and religion dynamics, BJP has not been able to open its account ever in the state as Mijos view the party with scepticism. It does not have booth or base in the state and thus is betting on social media and is seeking to portray itself as an equal opportunity party that does not discriminate on the basis of religion, highlighting the case of Goa and Meghalaya where it has many Christian ministers. The party is also highlighting corruption charges against Congress, the evils of lifting the liquor ban and the backwardness of the state in it’s campaigns and trying to rely on Modi's clean and incorruptible image.

The saffron party is focussing on non-tribals, including (Buddhist) Chakma and animist Brus and is also banking on a promise of development as espoused in "ache din" and has promised a four-lane highway across the state and two engineering colleges if it wins. While the exit polls do not seem to predict positive trends for the party, it would be looking at getting some seats in minority driven areas and look at a chance of post-poll alliances like in Meghalaya. Some feel that in a fractured post poll scenario, MNF and BJP could come together.

However it is still to be seen if the party can pull off a Meghalaya-like political coup by post-poll tie-ups. The jury is out on who will come up trumps in the state. Keep a lookout on Mizoram election news to see how the results go.

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