Mr Shah has set the mission for BJP and other regional parties at a day-long conference attended by five Chief Ministers Assam (Sarbanand Sonowal), Nagaland (TR Zeliang), Manipur (N Biren Singh), Arunachal Pradesh (Pema Khandu) and Sikkim (Pawan Chamling). Former Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga of MNF, NPP leader Conrad Sangma and UDP leader Donkuper Roy (both Meghalaya) also attended the conference wherein three Union Ministers Kiren Rijiju (MoS Home), Rajen Gohain (MoS Railways) and Minister for DoNER Jitendra Singh also made presentation of their respective ministries and answered to various queries raised by Chief Ministers and other participants. Elections are due in NPF-ruled Nagaland, Congress-ruled Meghalaya and Tripura (CPI-M) by February 2018 while Mizoram-under Congress rule would go to the polls in November 2018.
The northeastern states and Sikkim put together account for 25 Lok Sabha seats and the BJP is drawing out aggressive strategy to win maximum seats from the region. Speaking on the occasion, Mr Singh credited Mr Himanta Biswa Sarma for BJP making deeper penetration into the north east in recent months. "Himanta is a king maker....he has put many people into the thrones and also dethroned many," Mr Singh said referring to the former Congress leader's Machiavellian role in ensuring BJP install governments in states like Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur. During last two-three years, Congress lost power in Assam and Manipur and this came with the fall of onetime stalwarts like Tarun Gogoi and Okram Ibobi Singh.
In his address to the NEDA leaders, the BJP chief said the platform should be made more influential than mere politics and it should play also a critical socio and cultural role. "Amit Shahji has given a new direction. Now, NEDA will have a permanent office in Guwahati and also set up a think tank to undertake research to help the overall growth of the region," Mr Sarma said. Mr Jitendra Singh denied that when it comes to development, the NDA regime headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has never distinguished between BJP and non-BJP ruled states. At the conference today, Assam Chief Minister Sarbanand Sonowal raised the issue of illegal migrants in the region. He was supported by other Chief Ministers also. In principle, the government of India has instructed to go for sealing the borders, Mr Sarma said. (UNI)