After the exit polls have given their verdicts, it was only a matter of time before the results in Tripura, Meghalaya, and Nagaland start reflecting the same.
It would be an understatement to label BJP’s victories in the North-east as historic and unbelievable, especially in Tripura, considering the BJP failed to win even a single seat in the last assembly poll in Tripura.
But, the results have more implications than what would seem at first. The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has lost the recent by-polls in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan against its arch political rival Congress and Congress had started terming the results as a “moral victory” for the party and said that it showed a “mirror of truth to those who are arrogant”.
With the BJP losing its hold in Hindu-dominated states, these wins would not only serve as the morale booster but will also help in consolidating BJP’s strong foothold across the nation.
While the results have made BJP grow from strengths to strengths, CPI(M) has a sorry story to tell. With the loss in Tripura, the Left Front is now left with power in Kerala only. It had lost West Bengal to Trinamool Congress in 2011 and failed to put up a respectable performance in 2016. The decline of the Left Front has been steady in the last ten years.
However, the mood of Tripura voters to change its political color from red to saffron will not only make it worse for CPI(M) but would also mean that former Tripura’s Chief Minister Manik Sarkar will move out after staying in power for four terms in Tripura.
One of the biggest highlights of BJP’s recent success has been their smart alliances and their political acumen that has helped them convince people in the North-East regions to make a switch from a regional identity to a more national identity. And Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s image as change-maker swung the polls for his party although the BJP had no local leader of Manik Sarkar’s stature in Tripura.
The gain in Meghalaya, a Christian-dominated state, came in spite of the BJP’s anti-minority image hanging on its back. The next two days would be crucial in deciding who would rule the Government in Meghalaya. The Congress has managed to stay the front-runner in Meghalaya but it may still not be able to form the government. The BJP along with its allies will try and win over the others and Independents to their side.
The biggest gain, however, has been the fact that these wins in North-East regions have made BJP a PAN Indian party. Resonating the same thoughts, BJP Chief Amit Shah said, “There was a perception BJP is only a party of the Hindi heartland. But that has been shattered today.” Clearly, the elections in three small states of the North-East have signaled a turning point in India’s electoral map.