Agartala/ Shillong/ Kohima: The man with the gloating rights today for solidly establishing the BJP in Northeast politics is party strategist Himanta Biswa Sarma.
A former Congress man, Sarma has already delivered Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh to the party’s kitty, and continues to work towards what he calls "mainstreaming the northeast region" in the country’s politics.
He told a news channel before counting on Saturday, “If we win Tripura and regain Nagaland, have a government in Meghalaya, our expansion in Northeast is complete.”
The only other state Mizoram, is ruled by the Congress and goes to polls later this year.
Results for the three states now show that the BJP has won Tripura – ending Left Front chief minister Manik Sarkar’s two-decade rule – won Nagaland with partner NDPP and can swing a coalition in Meghalaya where the ruling Congress doesn’t look it will get a majority.
He said: “In Meghalaya, we have to talk among parties and install non-Congress government."
Sarma joined the BJP in 2015, and swung a massive victory in Assam for the party.
In 2017, he effected a BJP government in Manipur, thought the BJP did not win a majority in the state. In Arunachal Pradesh, he broke the Congress, spirited away 40 rebel MLAs to form a party at the Assembly that is supported by the BJP.
Sarma told NDTV, “I am in the BJP for this. The enormous attention Prime Minister Narendra Modi and (BJP president) Amit Shah are paying the Northeast is extraordinary," he said.
“In my entire political life, I have never seen a national political party pay so much attention to the northeast. It is about winning the hearts of the people of the northeast. People are very happy about this.”...