No Hindutva in Nagaland-Meghalaya, local issues dominate

No Hindutva in Nagaland-Meghalaya, local issues dominate: 75 out of 80 BJP candidates Christians, 55 out of 56 Trinamool candidates in Meghalaya

Feb 23, 2023 - 10:50
No Hindutva in Nagaland-Meghalaya, local issues dominate

Voting for the assembly elections is on February 27 in Nagaland and Meghalaya. Both the states are Christian majority. 75% of Meghalaya's population are Christians. Whereas, about 88% of the population in Nagaland follows Christianity. The regional parties and the Congress are trying their old ways to woo the voters in these states. At the same time, BJP's strategy for these states is quite different from other states of the country.
BJP's focus here is on local issues instead of Hindutva. The BJP's strategy in Nagaland and Meghalaya is largely the same. In Meghalaya, the party is contesting all 60 seats. In Nagaland, the BJP is in the fray with 20 candidates. Of the total 80 candidates, 75 are Christians and the rest are non-Hindu. The Congress has given tickets to a large number of Christians in both states.
Meghalaya Congress coordinator Babita Sharma did not give numbers but indicated that almost all the candidates are Christians. Sharma said, Congress does not give tickets on the basis of religion or caste. Almost all of the 23 in the Congress in Nagaland are from the tribal Christian community. TMC is not contesting in Nagaland but in Meghalaya, 55 out of 56 candidates are Christians.
BJP's strategy is to work on the agenda of development leaving aside the controversial issues. BJP leaders are holding a meeting with the office bearers of the church. The situation is reversed here for the BJP which opposes beef. Meghalaya BJP President Ernest Mowry has already said that he eats beef and the party has no objection.
In Meghalaya, the BJP fielded candidates for 48 out of 60 seats in 2018, winning two of them. The BJP was part of the government along with the NPP. This time BJP is fighting on all the seats. His strategy is to connect with each and every voter, as the voter seeks a connection with the candidate.
The BJP has been connecting people in every state, including Nagaland, by honouring local heroes and organizing events in their memory. Prime Minister Modi attended the birth anniversary program of Rani Gaidinliu.
Other opposition parties including Congress and Trinamool are calling BJP anti-Christian. The Congress said, in a Congress-ruled state like Chhattisgarh, the BJP is organizing attacks on churches. She is talking of development to win elections in the Northeast.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi addressed a rally in Shillong on Wednesday. The Trinamool Congress spent a huge amount in Goa because their idea was to help the BJP, he said. In Meghalaya too, TMC's aim is to bring BJP to power. On the other hand, Trinamool leader Mamata Banerjee said, the party will not allow people coming from outside to impose CAA and NRC on the residents of the northeastern state.

Muskan Kumawat Journalist & Writer