NEW DELHI, Jul 10 : The BJP’s victory in Assam is to be the spearhead for the party’s attempts at gaining a foothold in other States in the North East, with Union Ministers being asked to do more than their share of political heavy lifting.
From January 2015 to April this year, eight States in the North East have been host to 110 Ministerial visits by members of the Modi Cabinet. According to data provided by the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DONER), Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Manipur, Mizoram and Sikkim have seen increased Ministerial traffic on instructions from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Of these, considering the political ingress that the BJP wanted to make into Assam, that State accounts for nearly 54 visits, the largest chunk of visits by Ministers, including Roads and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari, and Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
Sources in the Government say that Manipur, right now accounting for only six visits by Ministers will see more traffic from Delhi, as elections are due in the State.
Arunachal Pradesh with 13 visits, and Meghalaya and Nagaland with 10 each are the next most visited. “All Ministers are expected to report on what was promised during the visit, and what will be done for delivering on those promises,” said a source.
Immediately after the Assam elections, the BJP president formed the North Eastern Democratic Alliance (NEDA), with Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma as its chief. At its first meeting, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Kaliko Pul (whose Government is propped up by BJP support), TR Zeilang and PK Chamling, Chief Ministers of Nagaland and Sikkim respectively attended. “The NEDA will be coming up with a development plan for the region, and a big investor summit will be held in one of States, covering the entire region,” said a senior source in the BJP.
“Our next aim is the Manipur polls, due in February and we are hoping to create a buzz around our campaign like in Assam,” said the source. In Meghalaya, Conrad Sangma, son of former Lok Sabha Speaker PA Sangma, is being seen as a likely prospect for the entry of the BJP.
Courtesy- The Hindu