Online Classes :- Current Affairs Part-3

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Close contests: In Nagaland and Meghalaya, BJP becomes key player in local politics

The hung verdicts in Meghalaya and Nagaland reveal that voters in these two states had a tough time deciding who must form governments. Congress with 21 seats was marginally ahead of Conrad Sangma’s NPP in Meghalaya but BJP support in wooing allies tipped the scales in favour of NPP. The ruling NPF won 27 seats in Nagaland but pre-poll allies NDPP with 16 seats and BJP with 12 have the upper hand. Mindful of Congress’s failure to seal alliance talks in Goa and Manipur despite becoming single largest party, senior leaders quickly reached Shillong but found the going tough.
NPP, reduced to just two seats in 2013, has put up a strong show winning 19 seats in Meghalaya. But if NPP had made pre-poll alliances, it could have consolidated anti-incumbency against Congress. In Nagaland BJP had two suitors: Neiphiu Rio’s NDPP and TR Zeliang’s NPF. Though it sailed with NDPP into the election, BJP is now in a position to decide who is a better partner in the long run. BJP’s performance, netting over 15% of the vote in Nagaland and nearly 10% in Meghalaya, also reveals that toning down its Hindutva agenda in the north-east earned traction with voters.
This was despite the Nagaland Baptist Church Council’s plea to voters to reject BJP and Congress’s scaremongering tactics in Meghalaya that BJP would ban beef. Since 1976, when the ruling APHLC faction in Meghalaya merged with Congress during Emergency, it is Congress which has largely ruled the state, often through coalition governments. Likewise, BJP’s ability to aggressively dictate the future course of Nagaland and Meghalaya politics may hinge on its control of Delhi as well as on its fulfilling electoral promises.

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