NEW DELHI: Narendra Modi’s election as Prime Minister in 2014 presaged the most dramatic alignment of political power equations in India’s northeastern states since Independence.
Until 2016, the Bharatiya Janata Party had never been elected to power in any of the region’s eight states. It had not even finished as the second-best party in an electoral contest in any of these states — whether in national or Assembly polls.
Yet, by 2023, it held office in six of eight northeastern states. Four of them on its own steam, with BJP chief ministers heading multi-party coalitions: Tripura (2018 and 2023), Assam (2016 and 2021), Arunachal Pradesh (2016 and 2019) and Manipur (2017 and 2022).
According to the data shared by the Ministry of Development of the NorthEast Region, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already visited Northeast states 50 times.
Under Modi, the Centre has repeatedly highlighted its ‘Act East’ policy, which was formulated specifically in line with a vision to bring the northeast on a par with the other parts of the country.
Outside of the local politics of Agartala, Kohima and Imphal, the results of the latest Assembly elections indicate that the processes that drove this wider reframing of the regional political chessboard over the last eight years have deepened and taken greater root. This has significant implications for national politics as we head into the 2024 election.
Leave a Reply