SHILLONG, Sep 06: Newly inducted Union minister Alphons Kannanthanam has been appointed as the BJP’s in-charge of election in Meghalaya, which will be going for fresh polls in 2018.
“The Centre (has) appointed Alphons Kannanthanam, Minister of State for Tourism (Independent Charge), electronic and technology as the election in-charge of Meghalaya,” BJP state general secretary Bashailang Khongwir said in a statement issued here on Wednesday.
The appointment was made during a meeting chaired by the party national chief Amit Shah with the core committee of the BJP Meghalaya led by its president Shibun Lyngdoh in New Delhi on Tuesday.
The meeting was also attended by national general secretary (organisation), Ramlal, national general secretary, Ram Madhav, Assam finance minister, Himanta Biswa Sarma, general secretary (organization) North East, Ajay Jamwal and BJP in-charge of Meghalaya, Nalin Kohli.
Apart from discussing on the election strategy and other related matters, the meeting also deliberated on the upcoming visit of the national president to Meghalaya on September 28.
“The Central leaders are happy with the progress of organizational work in our State,” Khongwir said.
A bureaucrat-turned politician, Alphons, was inducted into the Union Cabinet on Sunday.
Alphons is a Christian from Kottayam district in Kerela and he was chosen by BJP national president, Amit Shah to be in the cabinet.
His appointment as BJP’s in-charge of election in Meghalaya, and his induction in the cabinet, is seen as move to win over the Christian minority in the country including Meghalaya and other states in the North Eastern region.
Alphons is a first minister from Kerala in the three-and-a-half-year-old Narendra Modi cabinet.
Earlier, the BJP leaders had also met church leaders and representatives of other religious institutions in the state ahead of the crucial 2018 state elections.
However, the ruling Congress had alleged that the BJP’s promptness to meet the church leaders was only to “masquerade” its hidden agenda to make India a Hindu nation.