After hectic campaigning activity in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh and Goa, BJP national president JP Nadda will embark on a two-day visit to poll-bound Manipur on Thursday evening.
Nadda, who held a detailed organisational meeting in the northeastern state a few months ago, has a power-packed schedule for Friday.
The first thing on his agenda is meeting prominent sportspersons as Manipur has a rich heritage to offer in a variety of sports, right from Olympic medallist boxers to football players — including Chief Minister N Biren Singh who has also been a professional football player.
This is going to be followed by a Nadda and BL Santhosh meet with ex-servicemen. He is likely to speak to them about the focus of the Narendra Modi government in the Northeast, securing the borders in particular that are extremely vulnerable, and the steps the government is taking towards their welfare, including implementation of OROP. Later in the day, he will visit the Khongjom War Memorial and pay tributes to war veterans.
One of the key things that Nadda could do on his trip to Manipur will be to participate in the ongoing BJP programme ‘Go to Village 2.0’ in Bishenpur district. This unique programme, which started in November, gives access to all the benefits of the central government schemes under one roof for any beneficiary. These ‘melas’ are being conducted across all districts of Manipur where stalls are being put up of all the central government schemes such as Ujjwala, Aadhaar and Jan Dhan Yojana.
Various state and central leaders have been going to all these programmes, interacting with the people and encouraging them to take benefit of the ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas’ schemes that the Modi government has brought in. The leaders are also seeking feedback from the public if they have any concerns or areas of improvement.
Apart from this, the last programme on Nadda’s agenda is to hold a public meeting in Thoubal district.
Santhosh, the BJP general secretary organisation, is already in Manipur and has had a number of meetings with the organisation. Sources also say Nadda could meet MPs, MLAs and the BJP core group to take stock of the preparations for the upcoming elections.
Within the next one month, several prominent leaders from the saffron party, including Union Home Minister Amit Shah, are scheduled to travel to the northeastern state.
The saffron party has set itself a target of winning 40 of 60 seats in the 2022 elections. The N Biren Singh-led BJP unit is seeking its second term in the state.
Leading the NDA government, Biren Singh on March 15, 2017, formed the government in Manipur. It however got a major jolt in June 2020 when nine MLAs, including ministers, withdrew their support from the government, reducing it to a minority. An intervention by the central leadership within a week’s time resulted in four NPP MLAs coming back to the NDA fold, averting the fall of the government.
Singh was able to win the trust vote during which out of 24 MLAs of Congress, eight defied the party whip and abstained from voting. Thereafter O Henry Singh and six others resigned from the Congress.
At present, the NDA, led by the BJP, is in majority in the assembly with 36 out of 60 seats — this includes 24 BJP MLAs and four MLAs each from NPP and NDF each, 1 from LJP, and three independents.
Just a fortnight ago, two MLAs — Rajkumar Imo Singh and Yamthong Haokip — joined the BJP in the presence of Sarbananda Sonowal and the party’s in-charge for Manipur Sambit Patra in Delhi.
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