After Gujarat, Modi to launch BJP poll campaign in Meghalaya, Mizoram

Assembly polls are scheduled in both the northeastern states early next year.

india Updated: Dec 15, 2017 17:22 IST
Utpal Parashar
Utpal Parashar
Hindustan Times, Guwahati
Narendra Modi,Gujarat polls,Gujarat elections
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses an election campaign rally, at Dhandhuka village of Ahmedabad district.(PTI File Photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will head to the northeast on Saturday to launch the Bharatiya Janata Party’s election campaign in Meghalaya and Mizoram after polling got over in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh.

The assembly polls are scheduled in both the northeastern states and also in Nagaland and Tripura early next year.

Modi will arrive at the Lengpui airport early on Saturday for his first visit to Mizoram since assuming office in 2014. He is scheduled to inaugurate the 60MW Tuirial hydro-electric project before heading to the Assam Rifles ground to address a public meeting.

“Though no meeting with party workers is scheduled, we are very happy with the visit. It will definitely boost the party ahead of the next election,” Mizoram BJP unit chief JV Hluna told the Hindustan Times.

From Aizawl, Modi will head to Shillong where he will open the new BJP Meghalaya unit office and later address a public rally at Polo Ground - kick-starting the party’s campaign for the coming assembly polls.

The visit is aimed at boosting the saffron party’s goal of overthrowing the Mukul Sangma-led Congress government.

“Modiji will visit Shillong for a day’s visit. Everyone in the state unit is very excited about it and it will boost our poll preparations,” Meghalaya BJP unit president Shibun Lyngdoh told HT.

The Prime Minister’s trip comes after several proposed visits to the state by BJP president Amit Shah were postponed earlier this year due to his engagements in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh.

The BJP is already in power in Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh and is aiming to add the poll-bound states to its kitty.

The saffron party’s aim to make its mark in Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland, all Christian majority states, had received a setback earlier this year following opposition to Centre’s move to ban the sale of cattle in animal markets for slaughter.

The move even led to the resignations of two district unit presidents of the party in Meghalaya, prompting the BJP to announce there would be no restrictions on consumption of beef in these states.

With several senior Congress leaders quitting the party in recent months and anti-incumbency factor at play, the BJP is confident of attaining a majority in the 60-member Meghalaya assembly either alone or with help of its allies.

Though two regional outfits, National People’s Party and United Democratic Party, are part of the BJP-led anti-Congress alliance North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), they haven’t formed any pre-poll tie-ups yet.

Four sitting MLAs and two independents, one from Congress and another from Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), are expected to join the BJP in Meghalaya after Modi’s visit.

First Published: Dec 15, 2017 11:39 IST