BJP cedes ground to regional partners in North-East, Lakshadweep : The Tribune India

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BJP cedes ground to regional partners in North-East, Lakshadweep

BJP cedes ground to regional partners in North-East, Lakshadweep

Tripura CM Manik Saha and former CM and BJP candidate Biplab Kumar Deb campaign in Agartala on Saturday. ANI

Tribune News Service

Aditi Tandon

New Delhi, March 23

In a development revealing of the BJP’s urge to accord importance to NDA allies, the party has decided to forego its claim on several parliamentary segments this season and support regional allies instead.

Supporting allies

  • BJP backing NCP (Ajit Pawar) candidate from Lakshadweep
  • In Meghalaya's Shillong and Tura seats, will support National People's Party
  • In Manipur's two seats, BJP will back Naga People's Front nominees
  • For Nagaland's lone seat, the BJP will back NDPP

In Lakshadweep, the BJP has decided not to field its candidate for the lone segment. Similarly, across three north-eastern states of Meghalaya, Manipur and Nagaland, the BJP has announced backing the nominees of its allies.

Vinod Tawde, BJP national general secretary, on Saturday said the party would support Nationalist Congress Party (Ajit Pawar) candidate from Lakshadweep. In 2019, controversial leader Mohammed Faizal PP, associated with the NCP (Sharad Pawar) faction, won from Lakshadweep. He was disqualified from the Lok Sabha on January 11, 2023, upon conviction by a Kerala court in an attempt to murder case. The disqualification was later revoked when the SC suspended his conviction.

This time, Maharashtra Deputy CM Ajit Pawar is gearing up to queer the Lakshadweep pitch for his uncle Sharad Pawar. In Meghalaya, which has two segments, the BJP has announced support for regional ally National People’s Party in both—Shillong ST and Tura ST seats. In the outgoing Lok Sabha, Congress’ Vincet Pala holds Shillong seat and NPP’s Agatha Sangma Tura.

The NPP has this time fielded Agatha from Tura and Meghalaya Health Minister Ampareen Lyngdoh from Shillong. The BJP has also decided to support Naga People’s Front candidates in one of the two Manipur parliamentary seats. In Outer Manipur, currently also held by the NPF, the BJP will back the regional nominee.

Inner Manipur is a BJP seat in the outgoing Lok Sabha with the party yet to name its candidate there. This year, the NPF has fielded Indian Revenue Service officer K Timothy Zimik from Outer Manipur. Zimik comes from Ukhrul district of the state, which saw widespread ethnic clashes last year, leading to nearly 200 deaths.

For Nagaland’s lone seat, the BJP will back NDPP, which holds the segment in the outgoing 17th Lok Sabha and has this time nominated Chumben Murry. The BJP is also backing Lok Sabha candidates of partners in Assam—Asom Gana Parishad candidates in Barpeta and Dhubri; and United People’s Party Liberal nominee in Kokrajhar. Both Manipur and Meghalaya seats and the lone seats of Lakshadweep and Nagaland go to the polls in the first phase on April 19. Fifteen of the north-east’s 25 seats will vote in the first phase.

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