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Lok Sabha Elections 2024: BJP pushes hard to woo voters of northeast origin in Delhi

Urging voters to express their gratitude to PM Modi for bringing development to the region, Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma said that the prime minister is trying to find alternatives to the Chicken Neck, a tiny strip of land that connects the northeast to the rest of the country.
Last Updated : 14 May 2024, 09:57 IST
Last Updated : 14 May 2024, 09:57 IST

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New Delhi: To tap into voters of northeast origin living in the capital, the BJP has mounted a campaign by roping in some of the party's key faces from the region.

Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma, Rajya Sabha MP Phangnon Konyak and Sunil Deodhar were some of the leaders that the party mobilised on Sunday to meet and greet voters from the northeast at the BJP headquarter.

BJP leaders said that this was one among a slew of programmes and initiatives that the party had been pursuing to woo voters from the region. Over 15,000 families from Assam, 10,000 from Manipur and 5,000 from Nagaland reside in Delhi; in all BJP leaders said that close to 10,000 voters from the region live in Delhi and several more in the NCR and adjoining areas.

Urging voters to express their gratitude to PM Modi for bringing development to the region, Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma said that the prime minister is trying to find alternatives to the Chicken Neck, a tiny strip of land that connects the northeast to the rest of the country.

“The prime minister has spoken about connecting the region with an underground road between Bengal and the northeast. The other day NHAI officials met me regarding an underground road that connects Gohpur to Numaligarh in Assam which will be built under the Brahmaputra. The prime minister’s vision is to connect the region via a tunnel below the Chicken Neck … the northeast does not hold political benefits for the BJP, but the PM is convinced that the region will emerge as the capital of Southeast Asia,” Sarma said.

Rajya Sabha MP Phangnon Konyak, the first woman from Nagaland to be elected in the Upper House, said that earlier the region was known for guns and bombs. “Now no more; parts and regions have always been sidelined, but we are looking at more development,” she said.

Sunil Deodhar, who had earlier served as a poll incharge in states like Tripura and Meghalaya, said that before Modi, the only prime minister to have spent two consecutive nights in northeast was Vajpayee. “PM Modi has visited the northeast 65 times in 10 years; in fact, we have a roster in the party – a union minister has to travel to the region every 15 days,” he said.

Delhi BJP leader Praveen Sonkar said that while the BJP has been out of power in the capital for two decades, it has not stopped pursuing the voter from the northeast.

“We have a dedicated Northeast Cell, along with the ST Morcha, the party caters to the people from the region through them,” he said, adding that the party tried to mobilise as much help as it could during Covid.

Segments that have a concentration of voters from the region include areas surrounding Defence Colony, Munirka, Mukherji Nagar, Safdarjung Enclave and Dwarka. More region-specific programmes are on the anvil, Sonkar added.

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Published 14 May 2024, 09:57 IST

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