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Cong, BJP woo NE voters in Delhi

By KALYAN BAROOAH

NEW DELHI, Nov 26 � With over 35,000 votes from the North East up for grabs in the Delhi Assembly polls, both the Congress and the BJP have pulled out all stops to woo them with a plethora of promises, including special arrangements in police stations for the people hailing from the North East.

The prime focus of the parties, however, is on the minority voters numbering over 20,000, who have moved to Delhi from minority-dominated areas of the State like Dhubri, Nagaon and Barpeta districts.

Several minority ministers, MLAs and ex-MLAs have been scouring the minority dominated areas like Seemapuri, Seelampur, Welcome, Yamuna Pusta and Okhla. According to a rough estimate the population of Muslim community originally hailing from Assam has been put at five-six lakh, though Congress leaders deny this.

The BJP has made a number of promises in its main manifesto that was released at a function here on Tuesday. Last evening a special manifesto aimed at wooing the North East populace was released.

Delhi goes to polls on December 4.

The party�s main manifesto released today promised security for North East students, 24-hour helpline and special arrangements in police stations to ensure their safety.

The BJP has also promised encouraging local guardianship for North Eastern students. The manifesto was released jointly by BJP election in-charge Nitin Gadkari, the party�s chief ministerial candidate Dr Harsh Vardhan, and the Leaders of Opposition in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley, respectively.

The Congress, on the other hand, has adopted a different strategy. Unlike the BJP, it has not brought out any special manifesto targeting the voters of North East origin. Instead, it has flown in hoards of Congress leaders including State ministers, MPs, MLAs, ex-MP and ex-MLAs from the North East and asked to campaign in localities dominated by the people hailing from the region.

Significantly, AICC has appointed PCC president, Bhubaneswar Kalita as election in-charge of the party for Delhi.

Talking to this newspaper, Kalita, who is busy managing the Congress� election campaign, said that though the party has not made any specific provisions in the manifesto like the BJP, their stand on the issues are well known. Chief Minister of Delhi, Sheila Dikshit has shown extra interest for the people from the region.

Kalita said that the elected representatives are meeting people of various Associations like Assam Association, Delhi, Mizo Citizens� Forum, and organisations representing the Manipuri, Naga, Arunachali, Khasi populations.

Senior MPs like Dr Thokchom Meinya and Takam Sanjay are campaigning among the people of Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh.

Meanwhile, State Forest Minister Rockybul Hussain, with local TV channels in tow, today campaigned in some minority dominated areas of Delhi, while his colleagues including Nazneen Farooque, Ripun Bora, Wajed Ali Choudhury, Abdul Rashid Mandal and Aftab Hussain Mallah have been assigned specific areas to campaign, said Kalita.

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Cong, BJP woo NE voters in Delhi

NEW DELHI, Nov 26 � With over 35,000 votes from the North East up for grabs in the Delhi Assembly polls, both the Congress and the BJP have pulled out all stops to woo them with a plethora of promises, including special arrangements in police stations for the people hailing from the North East.

The prime focus of the parties, however, is on the minority voters numbering over 20,000, who have moved to Delhi from minority-dominated areas of the State like Dhubri, Nagaon and Barpeta districts.

Several minority ministers, MLAs and ex-MLAs have been scouring the minority dominated areas like Seemapuri, Seelampur, Welcome, Yamuna Pusta and Okhla. According to a rough estimate the population of Muslim community originally hailing from Assam has been put at five-six lakh, though Congress leaders deny this.

The BJP has made a number of promises in its main manifesto that was released at a function here on Tuesday. Last evening a special manifesto aimed at wooing the North East populace was released.

Delhi goes to polls on December 4.

The party�s main manifesto released today promised security for North East students, 24-hour helpline and special arrangements in police stations to ensure their safety.

The BJP has also promised encouraging local guardianship for North Eastern students. The manifesto was released jointly by BJP election in-charge Nitin Gadkari, the party�s chief ministerial candidate Dr Harsh Vardhan, and the Leaders of Opposition in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley, respectively.

The Congress, on the other hand, has adopted a different strategy. Unlike the BJP, it has not brought out any special manifesto targeting the voters of North East origin. Instead, it has flown in hoards of Congress leaders including State ministers, MPs, MLAs, ex-MP and ex-MLAs from the North East and asked to campaign in localities dominated by the people hailing from the region.

Significantly, AICC has appointed PCC president, Bhubaneswar Kalita as election in-charge of the party for Delhi.

Talking to this newspaper, Kalita, who is busy managing the Congress� election campaign, said that though the party has not made any specific provisions in the manifesto like the BJP, their stand on the issues are well known. Chief Minister of Delhi, Sheila Dikshit has shown extra interest for the people from the region.

Kalita said that the elected representatives are meeting people of various Associations like Assam Association, Delhi, Mizo Citizens� Forum, and organisations representing the Manipuri, Naga, Arunachali, Khasi populations.

Senior MPs like Dr Thokchom Meinya and Takam Sanjay are campaigning among the people of Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh.

Meanwhile, State Forest Minister Rockybul Hussain, with local TV channels in tow, today campaigned in some minority dominated areas of Delhi, while his colleagues including Nazneen Farooque, Ripun Bora, Wajed Ali Choudhury, Abdul Rashid Mandal and Aftab Hussain Mallah have been assigned specific areas to campaign, said Kalita.

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