The BJP wants to retain power in this key northeastern state with an enhanced mandate, preferably a majority of its own. "The youth is full of energy, talent and capability, and … we're making our dreams of a New India come true," says Nadda.
New Delhi: BJP's election campaign in Manipur was kicked off on Thursday (December 30) in the form of a massive Youth Rally in Kakching, which was addressed by the saffron party's national president J P Nadda. Manipur goes to the polls by February-March along with Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa and Uttarakhand.
"You have to choose whether you want insurgency or stability, policy of divide and rule or prosperity, encounters or peace, drugs or sports," Nadda said in his speech in the presence of BJP state unit chief A Sharda Devi and state Chief Minister N Biren Singh.
"I believe the youth of the state will choose sports over drugs and peace over encounters," he said and asserted that Manipur will only progress if "Lotus blooms" in the northeastern state. Over the years, insurgency, anti-India violence, ethnic clashes and drug abuse have taken a toll in Manipur.
In a tweet after the rally, Mr Nadda said, "The youth is full of energy, talent and capability, and the ability to put that capability into action. You're our hope, our strength, and through you, we're making our dreams of a New India come true."
BJP, for the first time, formed government in 2017 under Biren Singh's leadership along with regional parties such as NPP of Conrad Sangma, NPF of Nagaland and independents.
Nadda further said, "Other political parties only have the intention to criticize Prime Minister Narendra Modi." But in the process, he said, end up "criticizing the nation as well".
"They (opposition parties) only think about corruption and commission. On the other hand, we have a vision to take India ahead," Nadda said.
Manipur is synonymous with sports, the BJP national president said. "Many women players come from Manipur. I call upon the maximum number of the youth from Manipur to associate themselves with sports under the 'Khelo India' campaign," he said.
In the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, the Indian contingent came out with flying colours this time, and many young talents were from Manipur and other northeastern states.
In fact, In Manipur, weightlifter Mirabai Chanu took lifts from unknown truckers to go to the stadium for practice from village Nongpok Kakching. She won the silver medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in Women's 49 kg category.
BJP sources said Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to visit Manipur in the first week of January to address at least two poll rallies.
The BJP has already announced that there will not be any pre-poll alliance and will contest all 60 seats. Union Minister of State Pratima Bhowmik and BJP National general secretary BL Santosh are also getting involved in the party's election campaign.
Rashtriya Lok Janshakti Party president and Union Food Processing Industries Minister Pashupati Kumar Paras may also visit the state and field candidates for next year's ensuing polls.