After significant deliberations on Tuesday between the Bharatiya Janata Party and its allies in the northeast have led to the formation of a ‘grand alliance’.
BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav announced the development on his Facebook page early on Wednesday morning claiming that the alliance has the potential to win at least 22 of the 25 Lok Sabha seats from the northeast.
In another development, after parting ways two months ago in protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) forged a pre-poll alliance with the BJP late on Tuesday night.
“While the opposition is still talking and talking about ‘Mahagathbandhan’ (grand alliance), we already have ours in place in the northeast and the rest of the country,” Madhav wrote.
Madhav held meetings in Dimapur and Guwahati with chief ministers of BJP-led governments Assam, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and the heads of coalition governments in Nagaland and Meghalaya before sealing the deals.
While Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) heads the government in Nagaland, National People’s Party (NPP) is the majority partner in Meghalaya.
Besides chief ministers Sarbananda Sonowal (Assam), Neiphiu Rio (Nagaland), Conrad Sangma (Meghalaya), N. Biren Singh (Manipur), Pema Khandu (Arunachal Pradesh), senior Assam minister and convenor of North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) Himanta Biswa Sarma was also present in several of the meetings.
Leaders from Bodo People’s Front (BPF), BJP’s coalition partner in Assam and AGP were also part of some deliberations.
“The BJP, NPP, NDPP, AGP and BPF will fight together in Assam, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh with the mission of defeating Congress party in the hustings,” Madhav wrote.
The BJP leader also stated that the party would fight the election together with the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT), its coalition partner in Tripura and will contest from Sikkim in partnership with the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha, the main opposition party in the state.
“This alliance has the potential of winning not less than 22 out of the 25 seats in the region and playing an important role in seeing Modiji as the PM once again,” he wrote.
No details are yet available on how many of their own candidates will BJP field in the region. Assam has 14 seats, Manipur, Meghalaya, Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh has two seats each and Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim have one seat each.
For Assam, despite several senior leaders of the state unit denying possibility of any tie-up with AGP, the BJP high command decided to forge an alliance with the regional partner once again.
Of the total 14 seats, AGP is expected to field candidates in 2-3 seats, while BJP will give tickets to its candidates on 10 seats. BPF has already announced Assam minister Pramila Rani Brahma as the alliance’s candidate for the Kokrajhar seat.