After Gujarat polls, BJP eyes Meghalaya, Modi to campaign in NE state on Dec 16

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Shillong, Dec 8: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is one politician who never rests, truly. As soon as the Gujarat Assembly elections will get over, Modi will be heading to the Northeast India to campaign in Meghalaya, where the Assembly polls are likely to take place early next year.

The two-phase Assembly elections in Gujarat will get over on December 14. Gujarat will vote for the first phase of Assembly polls on Saturday. The results of the elections in the state will be announced on December 18.

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So, instead of waiting for the outcome of the Gujarat election results, Modi known to be the star campaigner of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), will be in Meghalaya to woo voters on December 16.

The dates for Meghalaya Assembly elections are not yet declared. But Modi is not the one to wait for such official communication at a time when the BJP is eyeing to rule over the entire Northeast region.

Last year, the saffron party won the first Assembly polls in the region by defeating the Congress in the Assam Assembly elections. Then, this year the BJP came to power in Manipur after the Assembly elections in the state.

Now, the BJP wants to ouster the Congress from Meghalaya too during the Assembly polls next year. The election for the 60-member Assembly is scheduled to be held in Meghalaya early next year, but the dates were not announced yet. The tenure of the current Assembly expires on March 6.

"The BJP headquarters have directed us to prepare for the visit of the PM on December 16," state BJP president Shibun Lyngdoh told PTI.

Modi would inaugurate a BJP office near the official residence of the chief minister and address a public meeting at the Polo Grounds in Shillong later. The Congress is in power in the state since May 2009.

Meghalaya is going to be a tough battle for the BJP as the saffron party has already irked the people of the state earlier this year by announcing "beef ban" across the country.

Although the ban on cattle sale for slaughtering is still in an ambiguous state, the beef-loving state massively protested against the Centre's move. In fact, the BJP's own local leaders in the state opposed the "beef ban" and a few also quit the party.

The ruling Congress is also facing anti-incumbency in Meghalaya and both the parties have to struggle hard to win the state polls, say political observers.

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