SHILLONG, Sept 10 - Union Tourism Minister and BJP�s election in-charge for Meghalaya, Alphons Kannanthanam would be visiting the State next week to assess the party�s preparation for the Assembly election in 2018.
Kannanthanam was assigned the role of election in-charge for Meghalaya by BJP after his induction into the Union Cabinet.�
It is believed the former bureaucrat from Kerala was made the election in-charge possibly to woo the Christian vote in the State as Kannanthanam is a Roman Catholic.�
�Kannanthanam would be visiting the State between September 10 to 17. He would witness the election preparations of the party ,� Shibun Lyngdoh, BJP State president said here today. Meghalaya goes to poll in February 2018.�
Lyngdoh, however, didn�t comment on Kannanthanam�s reported statement that �foreign tourists can eat beef in their country and then come here.� The BJP party president said it would be incorrect for him to make any comments and would rather allow Kannanthanam to clarify himself.�
�When he comes here he would probably give his clarification,� Lyngdoh said.
Meanwhile, the party�s national president Amit Shah is scheduled to visit the State on August 28. During Shah�s one-day visit to the State, some sitting legislators are likely to join the party.�
So far, two independent legislators � Robinus Syngkon and Justine Dkhar � have joined the party. Lyngdoh said Shah would be staying overnight here in the State and would be leaving for Nagaland on August 29.�
The party is focusing on Jaintia Hills which it feels can give political dividends for the party. The party has been giving signals that it is capable of lifting the coal mining ban of the National Green Tribunal in the region if voted to power.
Coal mining ban has affected a large population in Jaintia Hills and is a huge issue for the region. The BJP has been accusing the Congress of doing little to lift the ban.