New Delhi, Jan 21: With the Congress making an open offer for alliance partners, the main opposition party cannot afford to stay indifferent.
The BJP is now gearing up for Assembly polls in Meghalaya, Tripura and Nagaland, its leaders are in talks with political parties to look for possible alliances in the three northeastern states. The list of candidates have almost been finalised by party's election committee, BJP spokesperson Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told reporters in Delhi on Sunday.
"In Nagaland, the process is on to reach an agreement with a few parties and we will contest the election together. For Meghalaya, BJP already has an agreement with National People's Party. For the time being, BJP is alone in Tripura," he said. Naqvi said that senior party leaders will participate in the campaigning in these states and efforts are on to prepare the best strategy.
"Senior leaders will participate in election programmes...The election committee has completed the process of selecting candidates to a large extent," he said.
All the three state Assemblies have 60 seats each. BJP had won one seat in Meghalaya last time while it managed two seats in Nagaland. BJP has no presence in Tripura Assembly. Assembly elections in Tripura will be held on Feb 14, while Meghalaya and Nagaland will go to polls on Feb 23. Counting of votes will take place on Feb 28.
Tripura is best governed state: Karat
Meanwhile, kicking off campaign for the Feb 14 Assembly elections in Tripura, CPI(M) Party General Secretary Prakash Karat today said this is the best governed state in India so far as law and order was concerned. "This is the best governed state in the country in terms of maintaining law and order, giving safety and security to the lives and properties of people and improving the standard of lives of people," Karat said in a meeting in Agartala.
"It is also a model state in the region for combating decades old insurgency," he said.
Asserting that the seventh Left Front government would be installed in the state, Karat said the government "created history" by launching a programme of giving rice to the poor at Rs 2 a kg, implementing Forest Dwellers Rights Act for giving resettlement of tribals and implementing the MGNREGA.
The UPA government at the Centre has become more unpopular during the past six months for taking various anti-people measures by increasing the prices of diesel, essential commodities and rail fare. Succumbing to the pressure of the USA, the UPA government was giving more facilities to multi-national companies and planning to reduce taxes for them upto Rs five lakh crore, he alleged.
Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar said hundreds of CPI(M) activists had sacrificed their lives in the hills and plains of Tripura to end the four-decade-old insurgency in the state which made the lives of people miserable by killing, kidnapping and stalling developments of the state.
"We gave priority to restore peace as peace is the pre-condition for development. Even Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in a meeting of the Security Council had appreciated Tripura for restoring peace and stated that it was an example in the country," Sarkar said.
Cong can set a new trend in NE
The Congress can show that it can implement what its leaders preach. Rahul Gandhi on Sunday had disapproved of granting tickets to such leaders who, he said, come to the party only to contest polls and fly out after getting defeated.
"We have to change this," he told the AICC meeting in Jaipur in his first speech after becoming the Vice President. Amid repeated applause from partymen, Gandhi regretted that when the time of granting ticket in election comes, the grassroots worker is ignored and the ticket is given following instructions from top to someone who has arrived from some other party.
He said that Congress worker should get respect and those partymen who contest as independent after denying tickets or put up independent candidates needed to be proceeded against.
If the poll culture has to change, begin the experiment now and the much ignored north east can be the laboratory for such bold moves on alliances with fringe parties, on governance and discouraging defections or defectors.