Union Home Minister Amit Shah would visit Assam on 26 December and during his visit, several leaders of the Opposition parties are likely to join the ruling BJP, party sources said here on Tuesday. The elections to the 126-member Assam Assembly are likely to be held in April or May next year.

“During the Home Minister’s visit, several leaders of various opposition parties would join the BJP. Shah would discuss important issues related to the elections with the state party leaders, including Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal,” a BJP leader told IANS, refusing to disclose the details of the leaders who are likely to join the ruling party.

BJP’s national vice-president, Baijayant Jay Panda, who is the Assam in-charge for the party, visited the state last week and claimed that the party is fully confident of securing “the mission of 100 plus seats” along with its allies. “The BJP along with its allies would retain power in Assam and would secure at least 100 seats in next year’s Assembly elections,” he told the media in Guwahati.

The results of the recent elections to the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) and the Tiwa Autonomous Council (TAC) in Assam have boosted the confidence of the BJP. The BJP swept last week’s polls to the 36-member TAC by winning 33 seats while in the elections to the 40-member BTC, BJP formed the council in alliance with two other new allies—United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL) and Gana Suraksha Parishad (GSP).

After the outcome of the BTC polls, the BJP dumped the Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) and announced to support its new allies UPPL and GSP to take power in the politically significant autonomous body. In the 40-member BTC polls, BPF became the single largest party by winning 17 seats while the UPPL bagged 12 seats, BJP 9, and the GSP and Congress one seat each.