With a spectacular performance in the Manipur Assembly elections, results of which were declared today, the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) has successfully made inroads into the third north eastern state within a year.
An year ago, the BJP had little presence in Assam and no cadre or leaders to contest elections in other six of the eight North Eastern states. A year later, the BJP has formed government in Assam on its own, istalled its own Chief Minister in Arunachal Pradesh by breaking the ruling Congress and is in a condition to stake claim to government in Manipur.
BJP President Amit Shah, while addressing the media after a landslide victory in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, said in Delhi that his party was forming government in four states including Goa and Manipur.
In Manipur, the BJP has won 20 of 55 seats where the results have been declared. Although the Congress has emerged as the single largest party with 26 seats in 60-member Assembly, it will still require other smaller parties’ support to form government.
The BJP has the support of 22 MLAs, including one of its alliance partner Lok Jan Shakti Party, and will need other parties if it wants its own Chief Minister. But if the BJP can successfully have a CM in Arunachal Pradesh where it won only 11 of 60 seats, it sure is possible to drum up support from other parties in Manipur as well.
Even otherwise, the performance is no mean achievement considering the party had no member in the last Assembly in which Congress had 47.
If it successfully forms the government in Manipur, the BJP will directly or indirectly rule over four of the north eastern states. The North-East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), led by the BJP, has governments in Sikkim and Nagaland.
The performance in Manipur is a shot in the arm for the BJP, which aimed to become a pan-India political party but had little or no influence in the north east.
The results of five Assembly elections which were declared today bring only good news for the BJP as it has seized power in Uttar Pradesh, the politically-crucial and most populous state in the country, and Uttarakhand with huge majority.
In Goa, the Congress has secured win on 17 seats while BJP has won in 13 constituencies, leaving the rest of 40-member Assembly to smaller parties and an independent.