BJP president J.P. Nadda arrived here on Sunday on a two-day visit to Tripura to kick-start the saffron party’s preparations for the Assembly elections expected to held after six months.
Soon after his arrival in Agartala, he held a series of meetings at the state guest house with the party’s office bearers, leaders of frontal organisations, ministers, Lok Sabha member, MLAs, BJP core committee members.
Tripura Chief Minister Manik Saha, state party president Rajiv Bhattacharjee, Union Minister Pratima Bhowmik, former chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb, central observers including Vinod Sonkar also attended these meetings held one after another.
To give special impetus to the vital tribal vote bank (the state has 20 tribal reserve seats of the 60 seats), Nadda would hold separate meetings with the elected members of the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC), tribal leaders and MLA and leaders of the BJP-ally Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT), a solely tribal based organisation.
Earlier, after landing at the Maharaja Bir Bikram airport in Agartala, the BJP president accompanied by Tripura Chief Minister, state party president and other leaders listened to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Mann-Ki-Baat programme at the airport.
Nadda was accorded a grand reception by the hundreds of BJP leaders and workers at the airport and on his way to the state guest house on the outskirts of the capital city.
A senior BJP leader said that Nadda during his two-day tour (Sunday-Monday), would hold more than half-a-dozen separate meetings and also address a public meeting at the TTAADC headquarters at Khwumlung, 20 km from Agartala, on Monday.
“Besides gearing up the BJP organisation of all levels, priority of Nadda’s visit is to further strengthen the tribal front,” the BJP leader told IANS refusing to be named.
On Monday, Nadda, who is accompanied by his wife, will go to Udaipur in southern Tripura to offer puja to Tripureshwari temple there.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Saha and Deputy Chief Minister Jishnu Dev Varma held an important meeting in Guwahati last week with Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and central BJP leaders to chalk out the poll strategy.
BJP General Secretary B.L. Santosh, vice president Baijayant Jay Panda, and central observer for Tripura, Phanindra Nath Sharma also attended the Guwahati meeting and discussed the strategies for the Assembly election, expected to be held in February next year.
BJP national general secretary and MP Dilip Saikia, the party’s central observers for Tripura Vinod Sonkar and Phanindra Nath Sharma are now camping in Tripura to make Nadda’s visit successful.
In a major setback for the ruling BJP in Tripura earlier this week, top tribal leader Hangsha Kumar Tripura accompanied by around 6,500 tribals belonging to the BJP and its ally IPFT joined the Tipraha Indigenous Progressive Regional Alliance, a major tribal-based opposition party.