Amit Shah once again reiterated his dream of a Congress Mukt Bharat while speaking at the third conclave of the Northeast Democratic Alliance (NEDA) in Guwahati. He said, “BJP will win the upcoming Mizoram Legislative Assembly election, Mizoram would be the seventh northeastern state to join BJP in our dream of a Congress Mukt northeast and a Congress Mukt Bharat.” The North-East Democratic Alliance or NEDA is a political coalition that was formed on May 24, 2016, by Bharatiya Janata Party along with regional political parties like Naga People’s Front, Sikkim Democratic Front, and People’s Party of Arunachal, Asom Gana Parishad and Bodoland People’s Front in Northeast India. The motive of the new political front is to unite non-Congress parties in Northeast India, with Assam BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma as the convenor of the front.
The NEDA coalition is the ruling government in all Northeastern states except Mizoram. Chief Ministers of six northeastern states where the BJP is in power or in coalition attended the NEDA conclave except for Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling. Chief Ministers Sarbananda Sonowal of Assam, Pema Khandu of Arunachal Pradesh, Nongthombam Biren Singh of Manipur, Conrad Sangma of Meghalaya, Neiphiu Rio of Nagaland and Biplab Kumar Deb of Tripura all took part in the conclave along with other NEDA members, including several regional parties from different states and BJP’s coalition partners. Lok Sabha MP from Sikkim, Prem Das Rai, represented the state government.
Amit Shah is working hard to realize his dream of a Congress Mukt Bharat. Congress is already reduced to two and a half states (Punjab, Puducherry, and Mizoram). Despite witnessing a minor setback in Karnataka thanks to back door politics on part of the Congress and the JD(S), Amit Shah hasn’t shown any signs of backing down yet. Amit Shah’s dream and vision of a Congress Mukt Bharat remains as strong as ever, and the huge show of strength in the Northeast shows he is already back in the game after a brief hiccup.
Since Amit Shah became BJP president on 9 July 2014, Congress has not been able to retain power in any state where it was earlier in government. He has been able to throw out the Congress governments in Maharashtra, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Assam, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh etc. In Maharashtra, Congress-NCP alliance had been in government for 15 years but the Congress was reduced to a mere 42 seats in the 2014 General elections. In the Haryana Assembly elections, he reduced the Congress party to 15 seats out of 90 while BJP got 47. Under his leadership, BJP has been able to win Haryana for the first time since independence. The same fate happened to Congress in Assam Legislative Assembly election, where the BJP won 86 out of 126 seats while Congress got only 26. Assam was BJP’s first major success in the Northeast, a state where Congress had been running the government for 15 years.
This only goes on to affirm that Mr. Shah is a master strategist; no leader in any other political party comes even remotely close to him when it comes to winning elections and setting into motion the pre-poll strategy. He could be called the modern age Chanakya of India. Congress is losing one election after the other because its president Rahul Gandhi is no match to Amit Shah, who is very popular among party workers. Under his leadership, the BJP became the largest political party in the world with more than 10 crore members, even more than the Communist Party of China. Micro-management is a trademark feature of Amit Shah’s style of managing elections and campaigns. He is known for advising every booth level party workers to bring in at least 50 votes for the BJP. The duo of Modi-Shah has been able to paint India saffron through their pragmatic and shrewd outlook.
In th recent NEDA rally, Shah went onto launch an attack on the Congress, saying “Congress always saw the Northeast merely as a resource to cobble up a majority. But BJP, whether it was Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s government or Narendra Modi’s government, they have acknowledged Northeast’s right. The rights which other states have on the country’s resources, Northeast should have more. This is what the BJP has done.”
The capitals of Mizoram, Meghalaya, Manipur, Sikkim, and Nagaland are not connected by rail even after 70 years of independence. The previous Congress governments in the Center have ignored and isolated the Northeast for far too long. It did not take steps to improve connectivity to and within the Northeast despite losing the 1962 war with China due to this very reason. The new government since coming to power has focused on increasing connectivity to the Northeast. In the Union Budget for 2018-19 the Finance Ministry announced an allocation of Rs 1,014.09 Crores for the upcoming financial year towards the revival of 50 airports and viability gap funding for improving aviation infrastructure in the area under the flagship regional connectivity scheme. This amount was nearly five times the allocation of Rs 200.11 crore as per the revised estimates of 2017-18.
Increasing connectivity with the North East will have more than the obvious tourism and employment related benefits, as it would smoothen out and facilitate the much needed cultural assimilation of the region with the rest of mainland India. The people of the North East should not feel like outsiders in their own country. Not only will the decision bring the various sub cultures of India closer together, but also reaffirm PM Modi’s dream of a Congress Mukt Bharat.