BJP had gone solo in the state of Manipur and it was battling a coalition of Congress, CPI, CPI(M), Forward Bloc, Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP), and Janata Dal (Secular). Yet, the party has managed to put up an impressive show in the state where once the party did not have much political presence.
But why will the BJP win in the state? Well, there are just three reasons behind the party’s soon to be grand victory.
Yes, the BJP went to the polls in Manipur with just one agenda- development. The party slogan “Hanna Hanna BJP, Henna Henna Chaokhatpa (Again and again BJP – More and More Development)” emphasized its focus on the development plank. So, the party simply sought a verdict in favour of Chief Minister N. Biren Singh’s government and the people of Manipur have reciprocated accordingly.
Thousands of small and medium-sized businesses have mushroomed in the state and thousands of people in Manipur also got employment under the BJP government in the state. This can be attributed to tight law-and-order maintenance under the Biren Singh government and a business-friendly atmosphere.
Meanwhile, the state has also witnessed the inauguration of roads, railways and bridges. This has reduced the sense of alienation in Manipur and the BJP seems to have got rewarded for its pro-development policies.
Manipur, thus, will be voting BJP to power for mainstreaming the state in national politics.
Read more: Finally, the Indian Railways reaches Manipur and it is a great development against Northeast insurgents
In the not-so-distant past, the state of Manipur was suffering from two issues- lack of development and lack of peace.
The issue of development has been taken care of. And when it comes to peace, the Biren Singh government and the Modi government have been working actively on the issue. The armed forces have been cracking down on insurgents and making the Northeast peaceful on the whole.
Read more: Eastern Command of Indian Army busts Naga insurgent group NSCN (IM) hideout in Manipur
In fact, last year, the Manipur CM said that his government had been urging the Centre to withdraw the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from the state as the law-and-order situation has improved significantly.
AFSPA hasn’t been removed as of now, given the political instability in neighbouring Myanmar. Yet, the state has come a long way from the decades of insurgency and violence that it had been facing.
‘Act East’ policy
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision to make India a superpower centralizes the ‘Act East’ policy, and the Northeast is a pivotal link in this vision.
This is where the state of Manipur stands to benefit as a border state. Pollsters don’t see Manipur as politically significant, for the state has only one Rajya Sabha seat and two Lok Sabha seats.
However, the Modi government perceives Manipur as strategically significant due to its location. PM Modi even said, “Manipur’s role is important in the vision with which we are moving forward to make the Northeast the center of the Act East Policy.”
In fact, the India–Myanmar–Thailand Trilateral Highway, Asian Highway No. 1 and the Trans-Asian Railway Network (TARN) are some of the other key projects enhancing Manipur’s future developmental prospects. Enhanced international entry and exit points at the Moreh (Manipur) and Tamu (Myanmar) are also expected to provide a booster dose to cross border trade.
Manipur is thus being put on the map of the Indo-ASEAN trade and connectivity route. The state has witnessed unprecedented development under Chief Minister Biren Singh and is also looking at a great future. This is exactly why the BJP will sweep the state elections despite facing a coalition of six parties.