Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who arrives in Assam on a day-long trip, has a series of engagements.
After landing in Dibrugarh, hometown of the party’s chief ministerial candidate Sarbananda Sonowal, the Prime Minister will inaugurate a petrochemical project built at a cost of Rs.9,250 crore. He will address a rally in the tea garden belt in Moran, about 40 kilometres from Dibrugarh.
Prime Minister Modi will also deliver an address at the annual conference of the 15th century Vaishnavite saint Srimanta Sankardeva in Sibsagar.
“This is not a political forum. Elections come and go but we are very happy that Modiji will be the first Prime Minister to address our organisation,”said Babul Bora, principal secretary of Sankardeva Sangha that has a following of 25 lakh disciples.
In just about 6 hours, the Prime Minister has carefully chosen to reach out to politically influential communities such as Ahoms, Moran, Motok and tea garden workers among others.
The Upper Assam region — a traditional Congress bastion — could well determine who forms the next government in the state. Of the 126 assembly seats, 56 seats are in Upper Assam.
In the 2011 assembly elections, the Congress had swept the region with 44 seats while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had managed just two. However, this completely reversed in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls when the BJP won five out of the six Lok Sabha seats. In terms of assembly segments, the BJP led in 38 seats during the Lok Sabha polls.
So while the Congress would try hard to rebuild its bastion, the BJP would be hoping for a repeat of its 2014 performance.
In the evening, Prime Minister Modi will inaugurate the 12th South Asian Games at Guwahati. Eight south Asian countries — Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka – are participating in the games.