Agartala, Sep 6: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah has finalised the party's strategies for three poll-bound non-BJP ruled northeastern states -- Tripura, Meghalaya and Mizoram, a party leader said on Wednesday. "Amit Shahji held meetings with the party leaders of Tripura, Meghalaya and Mizoram on Tuesday in New Delhi and asked them to strengthen the party organisation from the booth level of each assembly constituency," Tripura state BJP President Biplab Kumar Deb told IANS over phone from the national capital. He said: "A host of the party's central leaders, ministers and members of Parliament, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party President Amit Shah, would lead the campaign in all the poll-bound states from next month." According to Deb, the Prime Minister and Amit Shah are scheduled to visit Left-ruled Tripura in October and November. He said the BJP's alliance with the local and regional parties would be finalised after a meeting of NEDA (North-East Democratic Alliance) in Guwahati. Various regional and local parties of northeastern states are being invited to the NEDA meeting, expected to be held in the third or fourth week of this month.
Former Congress leader and incumbent Assam Minister for Finance, Education and Health Himanta Biswa Sarma is the Convener of the BJP-led alliance -- NEDA. Tripura is currently ruled by the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)-led Left Front and Meghalaya and Mizoram by the Congress. These three northeastern states, besides Nagaland, will go to polls to constitute new assemblies next year. The BJP is a partner of the Naga People's Front (NPF)-led ruling Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN). The Tripura BJP chief said that in the New Delhi meeting, state party chiefs and other prominent leaders from Tripura, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Assam, Manipur, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh participated. Deb said: "BJP's poll thrust is development of the northeast India and making the region Congress and Left-'mukt' (free of Congress and Left). The three-year-old BJP government at the Centre has done much more work for the region than the Congress had in the last 65 to 70 years." "Left parties have also been a failure in ensuring development of Tripura and the people of the state, though it has been in power for several decades," he added. With a population of 45.58 million, the eight northeastern states collectively account for 25 Lok Sabha seats. Till early last year, the Congress was in power in five of the eight states -- Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Meghalaya and Manipur. But the political equation has been reversed in just about a year, with the BJP and its local allies now ruling in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Sikkim. In Left-governed Tripura, the BJP made a breakthrough last month by getting six Trinamool Congress legislaors to defect. Thousands of the Congress, Trinamool Congress and other party leaders and members have also joined the BJP in Tripura.