Game Of High Stakes
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Editorial

Game of High Stakes

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By The Editorial Team Updated: Feb 14, 2023 9:20 pm

The state assembly elections, which many dubbed as the semi-final for Lok Sabha elections 2024, is set to begin with Tripura going to polls on Thursday, followed by its two north-eastern counterparts Nagaland and Meghalaya on February 27. It will be followed by Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Telangana in the coming months until the end of the year. The stakes are high for both the ruling BJP and the main opposition Congress as the former will try to either consolidate its position or make inroads into unconquered territories, while the latter will keep an eye on regaining its lost ground. Regional parties are likely to play a huge role in the formation of governments in most states, including the three north-eastern states that are going to polls in the next couple of weeks. The outcome of the state elections will set the tone for the 2024 Union general elections, and hence all big players at the national level are eyeing a good start, or at least to give a good fight in the hope of changing the mood in its favour when the Lok Sabha elections come. This is why the poll-bound north-eastern states have received fair amount of attention this time around though they account for only five seats in the Lower House of the Parliament. It is also time for national political parties to forge alliances as every single seat counts. The Union general elections will be a litmus test for the incumbent government as Narendra Modi seeks to become the prime minister of India for the third term.

In Nagaland, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been in an alliance with the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) since 2018 and the coalition is currently ruling the state. The allies also have one MP each with the NDPP representing the state’s lone Lok Sabha seat while the MP in the Upper House is from the BJP. This may place the allies in an advantageous position for now, as far as the Union general election is concerned, but the tables may turn if the pre-poll alliance fails to retain power in the state. In a state like Nagaland, which has a long bitter past due to the unresolved Naga political issue, it will prove costly for national political parties to tread alone in the parliamentary election without the involvement of regional parties, especially the NDPP and Naga People’s Front (NPF). This is one of the reasons why big players at the national level are looking for alliances with like-minded parties in the upcoming state election. And whichever party forms the next government, be it at the Centre or state, its hands will be full as there are a number of sectors that need attention. The Naga political issue will continue to be a pain in the neck with the people’s patience wearing thin.

6113
By The Editorial Team Updated: Feb 14, 2023 9:20:00 pm
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