Not Congress, it is Trinamool vs BJP in the Northeast; Mamta has changed the equations

The increasing political activities of the Mamta Bannerjee led All India Trinamool Congress (TMC) in the Northeast may impact the political equations of the region. In future, the challenge to BJP and its Northeast Democratic Alliance (NEDA) in this region may come from the Trinamool instead of the Congress. In fact, in the past years, the BJP, under its Congress Muth Northeast campaign, displaced Congress from power in all the region’s states. In such a situation, taking advantage of Congress’s weak position, Trinamool has started spreading its wings in this area. It has also started making a dent in the Congress vote bank.

Manipur assembly elections will be crucial for the future politics of the Northeast because Trinamool is most active in this area after demolishing the BJP’s challenge in the West Bengal assembly elections. TMC has also inducted many prominent Congress leaders into the party. The recent defection of 12 Congress MLAs in Meghalaya will make the TMC the main opposition party in the north-eastern state. In Manipur, at present, the Trinamool seems to be more effective than the BJP. The Trinamool, which won seven seats in 2012 and one in 2017, is now emerging as the main opposition after several prominent Congress leaders switched sides with the BJP.

Trinamool may have won only one seat, but it has garnered around 20 per cent votes in the local bodies elections in Tripura, which is another crucial state for TMC. At the same time, Congress could get only about two per cent of the votes. Strategists believe that political upheaval in the Northeast and movement of regional parties is not new, but amid all this, the Congress, which has been a prominent force, has been weakened by the BJP in the last five years. However, after the victory of Bengal, Mamta Banerjee has started spreading in this area. TMC’s move puts Congress and the Left at a disadvantage instead of BJP.

A strong TMC in the region puts BJP in a bind as it no longer has a weak opposition in Congress and the Left. BJP will have to compete with a combative Trinamool. BJP has the advantage of being in central power, but recent insurgency incidents in the Northeast and clashes between states have emerged. Militant groups have also become active. It can also have an impact on politics and elections.

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