PM To Launch BJP Poll Campaign In Northeast Amid Protests, Boycott Call

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PM Narendra Modi will kickstart BJP's poll campaign in the Northeast from Assam's Silchar. (File)

Guwahati:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will kickstart BJP's poll campaign in the Northeast from Assam's Silchar, its oldest bastion in the region, on Friday. He will also inaugurate a dozen projects in Manipur, and address a public rally.

The 25 Lok Sabha seats in the Northeastern region are key to the BJP's political prospects in the upcoming parliamentary polls.

However, resentment may be building in Silchar. A majority of the people in this region — the hub of Assam's Barak Valley — are Bengali-speaking people, and a number of Bengali Hindus who voted for the BJP in the last elections were left out of the National Register of Citizens draft.

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Many of the people in the region had supported the BJP in the 2016 assembly election because of its unfulfilled promise to bring the Citizenship Amendment Bill. The legislation — which aims to change the definition of illegal migrants of certain communities — has been termed "anti-Assam" by many regional parties.

Meanwhile, workers of the Hindustan Paper Corporation plan to hold a demonstration at PM Modi's rally to protest the BJP's unfulfilled promise of reopening the Nagaon and Panchgram mills. Terrorist groups in Manipur have called for a boycott of PM Modi's rally and organised a general strike as a mark of protest.

Despite Silchar being its stronghold, the BJP could not win a single Lok Sabha seat in Barak Valley, Dima Hasao and Karbi Anglong region in 2014.

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