The BJP rules three of northeast's eight states, Assam, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh; its allies in the NEDA another two, Nagaland and Sikkim. Assembly elections are due in the three non-NEDA states -- Tripura, Meghalaya and Mizoram. Elections in Left-ruled Tripura and will be held later this year. Congress-ruled Mizoram and Meghalaya will go for polls early next year.
"It is our endeavour to unite all the northeastern states... Narendra Bhai (PM Modi) has called it the 'Asthe Lakshmi' (the eight Lakshmis, known to be the goddess of prosperity)," Mr Shah said in his opening address at the conclave.
The crucial meet for NEDA -- a coalition of the BJP and five regional parties from the northeast -- was formed just after the BJP won the assembly elections in Assam in 2016. It was the brainchild of Mr Shah and the BJP's key acquisition from Assam Congress, Himanta Biswa Sarma, who is currently the deputy of Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and the convenor of NEDA. The aim of the coalition was said to be uniting all the non-Congress parties in the region and working for its development.
Since its resounding victory in the general elections of 2014, the BJP had gone on an aggressive expansion plan and smart alliances in the northeast, a region where party had a negligible presence. Its success had been rapid - from zero, the party had notched up three states within the last one year.
The breakthrough had come with a huge victory in the Assam assembly elections, where it unseated the three-term Congress government led by Tarun Gogoi. By the end of 2016, the party formed the government in Arunachal Pradesh after 33 legislators of the People's Party of Arunachal joined it. In March, the party formed the government in Manipur, managing to cobble together a majority despite a split verdict in the assembly election.
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