BJP trying to grab power in NE region using regional parties: Congress

Congress General Secretary Jairam Ramesh addresses a press conference, at AICC Headquarter in New Delhi on Wednesday, September 06, 2023. (Photo: IANS/Anupam Gautam)

Congress General Secretary Jairam Ramesh addresses a press conference, at AICC Headquarter in New Delhi on Wednesday, September 06, 2023. (Photo: IANS/Anupam Gautam)

Aizawl, October 27 (IANS): Congress General Secretary Jairam Ramesh on Friday said that the BJP in the northeast region are using the regional parties to grab power.

He said that BJP did it in Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, and now they are trying to apply same strategy in Mizoram.

Branding BJP as ‘ghost party’, Ramesh said that the power of the ghost over the other two parties, the ZPM (Zoram People’s Movement) and the ruling MNF (Mizo National Front) is well known to everyone as they are the gateway for BJP to enter Mizoram.

Saying that the MNF and the BJP are two sides of the same coin, the Congress leader told the media that the ZPM is a party with no programme, no organisation and no ideology.

Noting that the November 7 assembly elections are very crucial for Mizoram, Ramesh said: “It is essentially a three-horse race with the MNF, Congress and ZPM. This is not the time for experimentation in Mizoram.”

He said that the politics of the BJP is to divide society based on religion, ethnicity, language and culture, and that the evidence shows that the MNF and the ZPM are remote controlled by BJP.

“A vote for the MNF, ZPM, is a vote for BJP. They are back door entry points to Mizoram for BJP.”

Highlighting the failures of the MNF government, he expressed shock that in the last three years legitimate grants to the tune of Rs 3500 crore grants that were due to the state from the Centre has not been received despite the MNF being part of the BJP led NDA.

He said that, “As the MNF failed to get the funds from the Centre, the agriculture budget, the education budget, and the health budget has been cut. With great fanfare SEDP (Socio-Economic Development Policy) was launched by the MNF government. It is nothing but the State Empty Development Promises”.

He said that the Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project (KMTTP) was launched by the Manmohan Singh led UPA government and now Modi (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) is trying to take credit for the project.

“It was a major initiative taken by then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in June 2008 to improve accessibility and connectivity to Mizoram”.

The KMTTP has been implemented by developing the Sittwe Port in Myanmar with funding under grant-in-aid assistance from the Government of India.

A government and a party that removed Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir can also remove Article 371-G of the Indian Constitution as it has been giving special status to the northeastern states and preserving their tribal heritage.

The Article 371-G was inserted in February 1987 to the Indian Constitution when late Rajiv Gandhi was the Prime Minister as a special provision to protect the Mizo way of life, Ramesh said adding that it is the greatest contribution of the Congress led government to Mizoram that is under threat now.

“It is only the hand of sensitivity that understands the aspirations of the northeast whereas the BJP is the party that wants one nation, one language; one nation, one culture; one nation, one religion; and one nation, one party.”

Referring to the Congress guarantees for the poll bound Mizoram, announced recently, he said that the guarantees offered a new deal for developing agriculture and horticulture in Mizoram.

It was the Congress party led government that first provided support for growing ginger, passion fruit, oranges, anthurium and grapes.

He highlighted that a Congress government will guarantee that every citizen of Mizoram will get free treatment of up to 15 lakhs of rupees as part of their health insurance and gas cylinders at Rs 750.

“We have implemented guarantees in Karnataka, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh and we are serious about the implementation of guarantees. The time is right for change in Mizoram and to preserve and protect the Mizo way of life only a national party like the Congress can ensure a vote for preserving traditions, customs, and culture of Mizoram,” Ramesh said.