“Today, we celebrate a significant milestone in the history of Mizoram with the completion and dedication of the 60-MW Tuirial hydropower project – PM Modi during his speech at the inauguration of the Tuirial hydropower project in Aizawl.
Even before India came to terms with the election results of Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, Modi and the BJP had already set the ball rolling for the upcoming elections in North East India. On his state visit (1st since becoming the PM) to Mizoram and Meghalaya to inaugurate various projects aimed at developing the infrastructure in the North Eastern region. Inaugurating the Tuirial hydropower project in Aizawl, Mizoram on 16th December, 2017, PM Modi called for a unified support from the masses for the BJP in the upcoming state elections. The Hydropower project which will produce 251 million units of electrical energy makes Mizoram the 3rd state in the North East to become power surplus.
PM Modi’s affection for the North East:
Exuberating the enthusiasm of a 10 year old and the energy of a 25 year old, it was awe inspiring to see a 67 year old roaring his way into the hearts of the north eastern people In pursuit of the Congress mukt Bharat, the BJP’s pitch to the people of North East was frank and clear, vote for the BJP- vote for a better India. The north eastern states had suffered for way too long because of the inabilities of the previous governments to integrate the people of the North East and to bring them into the main stream.
Modi’s call to the native Mizo’s to ditch the Congress this time around, which faces 10 years of anti-incumbency along with various corruption charges, and to vote for the BJP like Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh. The citizens who seemed frustrated with the present state government gave an equally passionate response to PM Modi’s appeal for a better North East, for a better India.
With BJP’s massive win in Assam, it had managed to make inroads in the North East which until then had been a Congress bastion. But winning Mizoram and Meghalaya would not be as straightforward for the BJP as it is may have been for them in the Hindi speaking belt of the country, considering that the majority population in these states has now been converted into Christianity. While that in itself is not an issue, the Church’s strong stand against the BJP and the nationalist forces may act as a road block for Modi and Amit Shah.
The PM during his speech outlined the roadmap that the BJP would put into effect, if voted into power. From setting up the basic infrastructure to easing the ever growing traffic, Modi seemed to have eased himself into focussing and stressing on just about all the right issues. Modi in his trademark style laid down the chain reactions which would eventually lead the North Eastern states to become the tourist hubs of India, and the only catalyst to set that process into motion was the massive mandate to BJP in the forthcoming state elections.
2018 is a big year for the North Eastern states with Mizoram, Meghalaya and Tripura going to polls. Out of these three states, two (Mizoram and Meghalaya) are a part of the only 4 states in which the Congress is in power today as of 2017. Come 2018, the BJP would be hoping to wrest away these two states too along with Karnataka, leaving Congress with only Punjab.
If all goes as per plan, it wouldn’t be long before the BJP forms its government in 22 out of 29 states in the country and goes to the 2019 polls with that might and support behind it.
Mizoram and Meghalaya are two of the last 4 jewels in the Congress’s crown and losing them to their bitter rivals would be a big blow to the Party which is still coming to terms with Rahul Gandhi being promoted to the post of President of the congress party inspite of losing the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh elections. Based on the response received by the PM, it does seem like the people of Mizoram on their behalf have made up their mind to follow Assam, Arunachal, Manipur and Nagaland.
The people recognize the shift in dynamics since the BJP has come into power in the centre and have realised the increasing efforts taken by the central government to make the North East into its deserved prominence by way of several schemes which seek to boost investment, tourism and infrastructural development in the states.
The BJP to its credit has made elections just about as interesting as India-Pakistan cricket matches, wherein each and every election is keenly followed by the citizens. The media organisations which until now covered north east only for Metal concerts and football have now actively started covering the regions to highlight the problems faced by the people. Be it in favour of the BJP or not, this increased coverage and prominence to bring the North East into the foray is just what India needed to highlight its diversity to the world.