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Success in the NE
If winning the red bastion of Tripura besides Nagaland added to BJP’s bouquet, the verdict also added another feather to the cap of BJP general secretary Ram Madhav, who has been a key element in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s scheme of things after the R-S-S pracharak joined the party in 2014.
Madhav is one of the most well-known faces of BJP in the north-east and has been shuttling between the three states of Tripura, Nagaland and Meghalaya in the last one month, where elections have their own local dimensions which many in BJP may not be familiar with.
Earlier, Madhav was also central to BJP’s Kashmir experiment which saw the party forming the government in alliance with PDP after a carefully drafted common minimum programme which had his imprint.
It has been a steady rise for the 53-year-old who graduated from being the Akhil Bharatiya Sah Sampark Pramukh in the Sangh to Modi’s “go-to” man. He has also been the “behind-the-scenes” person, responsible for organising the PM’s public interactions abroad like the Madison Square Garden event in New York in 2014. He was also part of crucial foreign policy moves like Modi’s first meeting with Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu in the US.
Madhav was also part of the BJP strategy to get on board erstwhile Congress strongman Himanta Biswa Sarma, who is credited with bringing the saffron party to power in Assam and increasing its footprint in the northeast, made much too evident by Saturday’s verdict. He also helped in the process leading to the Naga accord with NSCN. Madhav is a keen China watcher and has also written a book on the subject.
Madhav’s success has much to do with his understanding of the internal dynamics of BJP and R-S-S. His ability to work with BJP while keeping the R-S-S line intact has helped the Modi government strike a balance between the party and saffron fountainhead on crucial issues. Supporters celebrate BJP’s victory in Agartala.