Phek, March 7 (MExN): A day after the BJP unit of 17 Chizami Assembly Constituency issued a statement accusing the church of campaigning against the party in the constituency, the BJP Phek district today repeated the same accusation.
A press statement from BJP Phek district president, Nucutso Cruho expressed shock that “the church blatantly misused the holy Church pulpit and went to the extent of showcasing fake videos about alleged atrocities on Christians by Hindu extremists.”
Branding BJP supporters as “anti-Christians, RSS volunteers, and Hindutva ideologists” by the church, it stated, has “hurt the sentiment of the BJP members who are themselves staunch Christians and belong to different churches.”
The BJP Phek unit further alleged that many churches in the district under the garb of prayer groups campaigned against the party and even resorted to door to door visits “asking gullible villagers not to vote for the BJP as it would result in them losing their salvation or even risk being removed from the church membership.”
While the party stands by the NBCC’s Clean Election Campaign (CEC), it however alleged that the campaign deviated from its core principles by asking people not to vote for the BJP.
Alleging that “church workers, deacons and deaconesses even indulged in proxy voting and negotiated for favours from political parties,” the statement demanded that churches all over the State should seriously identify their people who have been involved in malpractices during the elections and even “excommunicate” them to prove their sincerity.
It further noted that when posters maligning the name of the BJP candidate in Chizami A/C were printed by opponents on the morning of February 19 and displayed on the walls of even churches in the constituency, the CEC remained silent and also the church.
“The CEC’s silence even today when we are being informed of post poll violence in different parts of the state only shows the shallowness of the whole effort. This is the time for the NBCC’s CEC to rise up to the occasion and condemn such activities being done in the name of election,” it added.
The BJP unit further stated church leaders “who have been engaged in spreading false propaganda should resign on moral grounds to save the sanctity and integrity of the church.”
“…And with the ‘Church candidate’ winning the elections, the church should take moral responsibility to ensure that development is brought into the area. The NBCC and the CBCC should also be on the guard to prevent the NPF from allying with the BJP or the NDPP which it had vehemently termed as anti Christian party,” the press statement demanded.
The BJP Phek district unit meanwhile defended that “our failure to win had nothing to do with lack in the capabilities of our candidate but because of the merger of the NPP, Congress and the NPF parties masterminded by the NDPP Phek Unit President and the Member of Parliament Rajya Sabha.”
In light of the above, the district unit urged that BJP in the State and Centre to pay special attention to the area to protect the interest of the party workers there. “Our candidate Kevechutso Doulo is a dynamic leader and we have total faith in his leadership,” it added.