BJP emerges highly-searched term on Google in Manipur, Uttar Pradesh, Tripura on election results day

S V Krishnamachari
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It may come as a surprise to some that more people in the northeastern states of Manipur and Tripura are searching for BJP on Google than even those in Delhi. In fact, the interest level was the highest in Manipur, more than Uttar Pradesh, according to Google Trends data.

A similar trend was witnessed on Thursday, immediately after the exit poll results were announced.

One of the reasons could be the resolution to the economic blockade of national highways leading to Manipur imposed by the United Naga Council in November last year and the politics surrounding the Congress government in the state and the BJP governments in bordering Assam and at the Centre over its fallout on the northeastern states.

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In December last year, the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre had asked Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) tankers to take an alternative route from Guwahati to Manipur, creating problems for neighbouring Tripura.

"The petrol tankers are not coming from Assam regularly and there is crisis of petrol, the present situation in Manipur also led to the crisis," Bhanulal Saha, Food and Civil Supplies Minister of Tripura was quoted as saying by NDTV on December 28, 2016.

The IOC also accepted the disruption and assured of an early resolution.

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"We have to make operational changes, we had to bring back the loaded fuel tankers and send them via Jiribam to Imphal and the empty tankers were diverted from Tinsukia to Guwahati loading terminal, thereby creating bit of delays for fuels tanker from Guwahati terminal to Mizoram and Tripura but it is getting sorted within this week," the news channel quoted Kailash Kumar Handique, Deputy General Manager, IOC, Guwahati, as saying.

The four-month-old economic blockade was declared illegal by the Manipur High Court on March 6, implying that the intransigence was not over.

By 5.30 pm on Saturday, the BJP won 21 seats as against 24 by the Congress, which is currently in power in Manipur. The simple majority to form a government in the state is 36 in the 70-member Manipur Assembly. The results were still coming in.

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