Shah is scheduled to arrive here on February 16 for a two-day visit and hold discussions with leaders of regional parties that are part of the BJP-led North East Democratic Alliance (Neda) on the Lok Sabha election strategy. Shah’s visit comes at a crucial time when many Neda constituents, National People’s Party (NPP), the ruling party of Meghalaya, and Mizo National Front (MNF), the ruling party of Mizoram, took a strong stand against the bill. Earlier, Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) had walked out of the ruling coalition in Assam over the bill.
BJP along with NEDA have set the target to win at least 21 of the 25 Lok Sabha seats in the northeast, including Sikkim. On February 16, Shah will have meeting with Assam BJP’s core committee as well as with the election management committee. On February 17, the BJP president will have meeting with NEDA members in Lakhimpur. He will also address a public rally for youths in Lakhimpur on February 17.
BJP state president Ranjeet Kumar Dass said BJP did not table the bill because it respects democratic norms. “The bill was our commitment so we wanted its passage. At the same time we know that there was no consensus among the political parties, including among some of our allies. So we did not go ahead following the democratic norms,” Dass said.
BJP legislator Shiladitya Dev, however, said BJP will bring the bill again once the party comes to power in the upcoming parliamentary polls.