TODAY -

BJP on a mission to the North East : Cultivating a pan India image
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: April 20 2015 -



Mission North East India. The BJP is apparently on this and the recent tour of Amit Shah to Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland will definitely come under the bigger plan of reaching out to the North East region.

Not even one year in office and the BJP seems to have come around to the idea that India does not end where the Brahmaputra begins.

Complements the progression from Look East to Act East and falls in line with the instruction of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to his Council of Ministers to make it a point to visit the North East once every fortnight.

Early days yet and while it would be premature to say that the BJP has made inroads into the region, the effort to reach out to the people of the region is unmistakable.

Something which no other political party has done earlier and this is where the BJP seems to have got its priority right.

The North East does not get to send many MPs to Parliament and this could be one reason why successive Governments at Delhi have overlooked this region for decades.

However with the changing global scenario and the importance of the region in any plans to reach out to the South East Asian countries, the North East region can no longer be taken for granted.

The visit of Amit Shah to the three aforementioned States should underline this point. And it also helps that election to the Autonomous District Councils in Manipur is on June 1.

Difficult to say whether the visit of Amit Shah will impact on the upcoming ADC polls, but already an important message has been rung out.

The BJP can no longer continue to be identified as a party championing only the cause of Hindutva, for India is not the country of only one religion.

An important point which should not blow over the heads of the right wing extremists within the BJP.

Amit Shah was obviously here with a mission. Root out the Congress from the region if there is to be development and progress. The message is clear.

Give the BJP a chance for development and progress to become a reality.

No hard and fast rule on how to win over the voters, but the efforts of the BJP to reach out to the people of the region is unmistakable.

It however also remains true that reaching out to the people and winning votes are two entirely different things.

Remains to be seen how the BJP will cash in on the new approach to the region. For one, the party has to rein in the elements which have largely succeeded in giving the BJP the image of a Hindu centric political organisation.

Such an image will not go down well with the people here.

Amit Shah and Narendra Modi too will need to demonstrate that targeting Churches and religious abodes had nothing to do with the political organisation.

Something not hard to do but yet at the same time it may not be that easy either.

Development package sounds excellent but it is important to keep in mind that apart from reaching out to the North East, what is equally important is to take the region and the people into the consciousness of other parts of the country.

The idea of India as a Nation should not stop at the Brahmaputra.



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