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In Its Hour of Glory, Why Is the BJP in Turmoil in the Northeast?


Well-known member
The BJP should ideally be rejoicing in the Northeast. Long before it has succeeded in making Bharat ‘Congress-mukt’, that reality has been achieved in the region with the recent defeat of the party in the Mizoram assembly elections. Currently, all northeastern states have chief ministers and ruling parties which are a part of the BJP-led North-East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) formed in 2016.

However, in what should be the saffron party’s hour of glory in the region, it is in a state of a mess there. There are two reasons for this. The BJP has its own national agenda and will pursue it even if it clashes with political imperatives in the Northeast. Plus, being clearly focused on its core beliefs, it is yet to grasp the unique complexities of the region.
The BJP’s setback has resulted first from the turmoil that Assam has been thrown into ever since the final draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) for Assam was published last July.

This turmoil has worsened and spread to virtually every nook and corner of the Northeast since the Lok Sabha passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill last month.

The initial public reaction to the draft NRC, which rejected the citizenship claims of four million – 12% of the residents of Assam – was muted. The aggrieved, presumed to be mostly Bengali-speaking Muslims, are a social minority and could communicate their enormous anxiety mostly in ways other than through public protest.
This is in sharp contrast to the disruption through bandhs and violence that has accompanied the Citizenship Bill as here the aggrieved are the majority. Most of the public protest has till now taken place in Assam, where one of the founders of the Assam Movement, the Asom Gana Parishad, has taken the extreme step of walking out of the state’s ruling coalition in protest.


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