GUWAHATI:BJP chief Amit Shah on Thursday sought to warm up to the people of the NorthEast, saying the region “has a special place in our hearts”.
“The NorthEast has a special place in our hearts. We will prioritise the development of the region,” he told a rally in Christian-majority Mizoram, kicking off his maiden tour of the region.
Local BJP leaders were upbeat on the political impact of Shah’s visit, which they believe will change the saffron party’s fortunes in the state, where the Congress and the Mizo National Front have traditionally held sway.
Shah is scheduled to proceed to Nagaland on Friday, where three persons sustained injuries in a bomb blas on Thursday.
From Nagalanad, the BJP chief will leave for Manipur on April 18 before flying back to Delhi.
According to BJP sources, he is scheduled to return to the NorthEast with a visit to Sikkim on April 21. The following day he will set off for Meghalaya.
From Shillong, Shah will head to Arunachal Pradesh on April 23 and he will wrap up his trip to the region, with a visit to Assam on April 24.
The BJP president will then fly to Rajasthan. However, he will return to Assam on April 26 as part of his visit to Tripura the following day.
The North-East accounts for 25 Lok Sabha seats, 14 of which are in Assam. In last year’s Parliamentary elections, the BJP and its allies had bagged 10 seats and seven of these were picked up by the BJP in Assam.
The Congress, which is in power in Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh,had bagged eight seats.
Buoyed by its relatively better performances in the Panchayat elections in Left-ruled Tripura last year, the saffron party is fielding candidates in the tribal autonomous council polls in Manipur and Tripura, to be held next month.