Monday, May 26, 2014

Bucking the Trend

Although the Congress has been wiped out in the rest of India in national elections, the Arunachal Pradesh State Assembly returned the Nabam Tuki-led Congress Government in Itanagar, with the Grand Old Party winning 42 of sixty seats and securing a majority of over three-fourths of the seats, 11 of them uncontested. However, the BJP nearly doubled its seats, winning 11.

Politics in the Himalayan state, although seemingly revolving around the national parties, is highly personality-driven. People do not vote for parties but for individuals and it can be impossible to find a worthy contender to some individuals, which is why 11 seats were won uncontested here, something that has become unheard of in the rest of the country and even in most of the Northeast.

However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has promised a lot to the state (his party won one of two seats and that MP, Kiren Rijiju, is a Union Minister now) in terms of promoting tourism and improving infrastructure. The Modi sarkaar is also expected to put an emphasis on defense, having warned China against any expansionist ambitions in the state. Clearly, the Assembly will have to work with the Central Government. It would be wise for Tiku then to reach out to Modi - despite the danger posed by the Gandhi dynasty in doing so. 

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