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Mon, 17 Feb 2020

Northeast Today

Mizoram: Not an easy ride for BJP

Mizoram: Not an easy ride for BJP
January 17
10:46 2020

The Bhartiya Janata Party is facing serious problems in Mizoram in keeping its alliance happy in the matter of Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) and the party leadership at Delhi has realized it.  The powerful party, despite having invested both human resources and financial resources in the state to make an electoral break-through, has not been successful till now. Amarjyoti Borah reports.

 

With the present outreach attempt by the BJP led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) Government not working in Mizoram, the BJP leadership is exploring a possible package to ensure its acceptability among the electorates in the state.

The party’s plan to pass the CAB in the winter session of the parliament session has further created the rift between the Mizoram populace and the saffron party.

“The BJP is facing a serious of problems in Mizoram and the party leadership at Delhi has realized it: The saffron party, despite having invested human resources and financial resources in the state to make an electoral break-through, has not been successful till now. The BJP has also deputed its senior strategists to plan and execute its strategies, but has not been successful till now,” said a BJP functionary from New Delhi who is looking at the party affairs in the state.

Problems for the BJP leadership at the centre has mounted as many of the senior BJP leaders in the state are themselves opposing the CAB, and have even threatened to resign if the government tries to pass the CAB in the parliament.

In the final session of the parliament of the previous term, the BJP did make an attempt to pass the CAB-it passed the bill in the Lok Sabha, but did not push it in the Rajya Sabha after massive protests demanding its scrapping.

“The BJP led government is caught in a unique situation, as there are both for and against demands towards CAB in the states where it is in power. There are states where it needs to implement the CAB to be able to appease its core voters, and similarly there are states where it needs to scrap the CAB to be able to appease its voters,” said Sabita Devi, a Guwahati based researcher and analyst.

The electorates and the political leadership in many of the states where the BJP has been traditionally in power are demanding the CAB, but it is being steeply resisted in some states—mostly the state of West Bengal and the North Eastern states. The BJP’s rise to power in many of the North Eastern states (It is in power in Assam, Manipur, Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh, and is in power with alliance partners in Meghalaya, Nagaland) is recent and the saffron party doesn’t want to lose its momentum of growth in the region. Besides this, the BJP is the second largest party in Sikkim.

The West Bengal electorates and the Civil Society Groups are also showing a similar view towards the CAB, and are opposed to it.

Mizoram: Not an easy ride for BJP 2

“The BJP and the RSS is working on an outreach campaign to reach out to the masses in all the states in the North East region, and also in West Bengal—to try and convince the people about the CAB and also to dispel fears and misinformation regarding the CAB. The RSS is also investing heavily on cadres and resources to reach out to the masses in Mizoram and also to make them understand that the CAB will not impact the state, but that has not yielded much success,” said a senior BJP secretary in-charge of the North East region.

The recent assurance by the Union home minister and BJP national president, Amit Shah that a special clause will be included in the CAB to ensure that the state of Mizoram is not impacted by the passage of the CAB has also not helped much.

“There is a general worry that all the states of the North East will be impacted, so it is difficult to convince people even with this assurance from the union home minister,” said the secretary.

According to sources at the Prime Minister’s office (PMO), the central government is planning to take up an outreach program with the political representatives from all the political parties in Mizoram, and the Civil society groups, to work on a acceptable solution to the whole issue.

During the course of this outreach, the central government is also likely to announce financial packages for several development related projects in the state.

 

 

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