BJP fields Union Ministers for ‘decentralised’ Assam campaign

January 28, 2016 03:42 am | Updated December 04, 2021 11:00 pm IST - NEW DELHI:

The BJP may have decided, at a strategic level, not to centralise its poll campaigns around Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but Union Ministers are still being roped in for its Assam Assembly election campaign.

From Friday, Union Ministers will address a series of dialogues, called Assam Nirman , with groups of people across six cities in the State. The first will be addressed by Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Guwahati.

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“This programme was to have been attended by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, but he will now attend the next one in Lal Bari. The dialogue will focus on economic development and fund allocations for the north-eastern States and certain changes that have been made in the rules governing devolution of funds,” said a senior office-bearer of the party in Assam.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh will address a session in Dibrugarh, where illegal immigration will be the topic. In Jorhat, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan will speak on issues of tea gardens.

“Tea garden workers have been a committed vote bloc for the Congress [though two seats in the tea-garden belt went to the BJP in 2014]. The politics there is called Kambal-khota: just before elections, kambal [blankets] and implements for weaving khotas or gamcha [traditional stoles] are handed out by the Congress,” the office-bearer said. “We are determined to make inroads there.” The last two sessions will be in Silchar, addressed by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, and in Tezpur, a cultural hub, by Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi.

The party is determined to project only local faces. However, as the polls approach, the party seems determined to pull out the big guns from its arsenal.

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