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Amit Shah to meet State leadership tomorrow
 GUWAHATI, Jan 6 - BJP chief Amit Shah will brainstorm with the State leadership of the saffron party here on January 8 regarding various issues including formulation of strategies for the forthcoming panchayat polls and on the long-awaited expansion of the Sarbananda Sonowal-led ministry.

Shah arrived in the city late last night and left for Meghalaya for poll campaigning early this morning after offering prayers at the Kamakhya Temple. He will be in Tripura tomorrow and return to Guwahati on January 8, before departing for New Delhi.

A meeting of the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) will be held here on January 8, which will be presided over by Shah.

BJP sources told The Assam Tribune that Shah will also hold discussions with the State party leadership on issues ranging from ministry expansion, which is expected to happen shortly, to formulation of a gameplan for the panchayat polls.

“As he is our party’s national president, his guidance will be sought after for further strengthening our organisation at the booth and grassroots level. He will discuss the entire political scenario of the State with our leadership here,” said a senior BJP office-bearer.

As this will be first panchayat polls held under the NDA dispensation and with all partners of the ruling alliance planning to contest the polls on their own, a lot is at stake for the saffron party.

The ongoing NRC update process, implementation of various government schemes and other matters will also be taken up during meetings, said sources.

The BJP, meanwhile, refuted opposition Congress party’s allegations regarding attempts to delay the panchayat polls.

“Senior Congress leader Pradyut Bordoloi has said that our government may delay the panchayat polls due to issues of finance and he has mentioned some figures. It is unfortunate that a senior leader and former minister like Bordoloi, whom we all respect for his intellect, has made such a comment. Where did he get those figures? He is not in the government now. So where did he come across such data which is totally wrong,” said State BJP spokesperson Pramod Swami.

He added, “There is no shortage of funds with the State government and funds are also coming from the Centre. That is why our government has been able to implement so many developmental projects.”

Swami said that BJP wants the panchayat polls as per schedule. “But it is the State Election Commission (SEC) which has jurisdiction on the issue,” he said, adding that BJP is fully prepared to face the polls at any time.

Asked about Shah’s current visit to the North East, Swami said, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi and our party chief Shah have promised a ‘Congress-mukt’ Bharat. Shah’s trip to Meghalaya and Tripura is going to further boost our prospects in both the poll-bound states and lead to a ‘Congress-mukt’ North East. We will defeat the Left Front in Tripura and the Congress in Meghalaya.”

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