NEW DELHI, 5 OCT: Even as Congress leaders try to downplay the ‘Narendra Modi factor’ in the coming Parliamentary poll, a prominent BJP leader from the north-east, Mr Kiren Rijiju, said the Gujarat chief minister’s popularity has surpassed “expectations” and that Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi is feeling the heat.
He said the Congress’ “double standards” about its commitment to north-east region stand exposed before the people and therefore it has been given a “lesson” in states like Nagaland where its strength in the 60-member assembly has been reduced to 8. “The BJP will send in a surprise pack of over 10 MPs from the north east next year out of the total 25 seats,” Mr Rijiju claimed,  adding that in Assam the party has identified at least eight winnable seats.
“At present we have four members from Assam but our performance will improve. In other smaller states, the BJP will also work out alliances with regional parties like the NPF in Nagaland," said Mr Rijiju, who is likely to be the BJP candidate from Arunachal West Parliamentary seat. He represented this constituency in the 14th Lok Sabha, which is also the fourth largest Parliamentary seat in the country.
Meanwhile, BJP national vice president, Mr Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, defended the Modi government on the CAG report that has stated that the state’s children suffer from severe  malnutrition. sns