BJP effects change of guard in 4 NE states; Nagaland unit chief re-elected
The BJP has appointed new state unit chiefs for Mizoram, Tripura and Meghalaya and re-elected its Nagaland chief.Updated: Jan 17, 2020 21:23 IST
The first month of the new year has been one of change for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the northeast with four new presidents taking charge of state units in the region.
In the past four years, the BJP has replaced Congress as the major national party in the northeast. The party is now heading governments in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Tripura and is part of the ruling coalition in Nagaland and Meghalaya.
On Friday, Biyuram Wahge was appointed as the new BJP president for Arunachal Pradesh replacing Tapir Gao. There is speculation that Ranjit Kumar Dass, state BJP president for Assam could be reappointed to the same post on Saturday.
Last week, Vanlalhmuaka was unanimously elected as the president of the BJP’s Mizoram unit replacing JV Hluna. Mizoram is the only state in the northeast where the BJP is not heading a government or is part of the ruling coalition.
In the assembly polls held in 2018, the BJP managed to open its account for the first time in the Christian-majority state with Buddha Dhan Chakma winning from the Tuichawng seat.
“As of now, we have 70,000 active members in Mizoram. But the immediate goal is to double that within one year by ensuring that each member inducts at least one new member to the party,” said Vanlalhmuaka.
He added that the party structure would also be reorganised in the coming days to ensure the BJP has a good presence in the village, block, district and state levels. The new president expressed confidence of winning the next elections due in 2023.
In Tripura, Manik Saha, a renowned dental surgeon who joined the party in 2016, replaced chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb as the new state unit president.
Deb, who was in the seat for four years, had played a key role in removing the Left government, which was in power for 25 years, in 2018. He urged Saha to ensure another term for the party in 2023.
“Our former president and chief minister want us to ensure victory in all 60 seats in the 2023 assembly polls. We will surely try to meet his expectation. That’s why, I appeal to all my party workers to work united to meet the target,” Saha said after his election this week.
In Meghalaya, where the party is part of the government headed by National Peoples’ Party (NPP), Ernest Mawrie was elected as the new state chief replacing Shibun Lyngdoh. The party has two seats in the 60-member assembly.
“I’ve just been elected and took charge only two days ago. Therefore I would need some time to focus on the things needed to increase the party’s presence in Meghalaya,” Mawrie said on Friday.
In Nagaland, state minister for higher and technical education Temjen Imna Along Longkumer was re-elected as the state unit chief on Tuesday in Dimapur in presence of senior party leaders.
The BJP has 13 seats in Nagaland assembly and is part of the government headed by Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP).
“The new leadership changes are crucial as these new presidents would lead the party election campaigns when these states have assembly polls in 2023. We hope to improve our tally in those elections,” said a senior BJP leader, who was in Shillong for the party election.