Nagaland BJP gear up for 2008 State election

Pfoshuo Ariicho
Dimapur | November 22

Virtually kicking off its poll preparation for the coming Assembly Elections in early 2008, the Nagaland BJP today endorsed the election of Ato Yepthomi as State Unit President in the presence of former Union Minister for Civil Aviation Rajiv Pratap Rudy. Yepthomi will take charge of the party replacing senior leader MC Konyak just a year ahead of the State elections. The BJP, it may be mentioned had surprised many critics by winning seven seats in the last elections upsetting the Congress applecart to retain power. Not surprisingly, Congress Legislature Party Leader I Imkong had yesterday during a youth Congress programme claimed that the Congress would wipe out the BJP and blamed the latter for using ‘tactics’ to upset the Congress in the last election. 

Taking up the challenge, the BJP while saying that the party was making its presence felt by sharing a coalition in the present government with NPF heading the front also claimed that this is the beginning of BJP’s rule in the state. “The BJP with the coalition partner will again form the next government in Nagaland.  Not only in Nagaland but the BJP will form government in many states of India and no one will stop it”, said Rajiv Pratap Rudy during a meeting of the party held at Tourist Lodge, Dimapur. Rudy however asked party workers to have a plan to repeat its performance. “Nagaland belongs to Delhi and Delhi belongs to Nagaland and it is true…...” because BJP will be the first to come and resolve any issue, Rudy said.

The former Union Minister also claimed that ‘bi-polar politics’ as witnessed today was the biggest change in the political landscape of India and said that this had been brought about by the BJP giving the country an alternative quality leadership after five decades. 

On the looming elections, the BJP leader urged party workers to travel extensively to feel the pulse of the people and to study the real issues bothering the state. While making clear that the conversion is not a ‘philosophy of BJP,’ Rudy expressed his belief that Nagaland will be the “topmost” state for BJP, which, with 98% of the states population being Christian, would redefine the meaning of secularism in India. 

Reacting to CLP leader Imkong’s statement ‘the Congress should wipe out the Bharatiya Janata Party,’ the BJP said that the Congress has to fight ‘because the BJP is strong and have a lot of potential.’ Rudy further claimed that the Congress is striving for its survival today not only in the state of Nagaland but in the whole country. Pointing to the prevailing law and order situation in Nagaland, he said law and order is a state subject but for north eastern states in certain cases, it is done in coordination with the centre but, he added, the failure of the central government to address the issues, the indifference of the Congress led central government towards Nagaland has created more problems. He also lambasted the state Congress for failing to play their part in the law and order situation in the state.

On the national front, the UPA government has failed in ‘almost all the fields’ such as price, ‘soft peddling on terrorism, failure to address to the burning issues in the northeastern region, land fraud etc,’ the BJP leader criticized. 

Later during a press briefing, Rudy said that the Congress by succumbing to the US  in nuclear policies has diluted the consistent position of the then BJP-led NDA government’s position on nuclear issues. BJP has also lambasted the UPA Government, led by the Congress, for pursuing economic policies, which they claimed have slowed the growth of the economy and progressively burdened the ordinary people. The developmental projects initiated by the earlier NDA government has taken a back seat, claimed Rudy. The BJP has also made its position clear on the Telengana issue. Rudy said that the BJP supports the creation of Telengana state for the socio-economic development of the people. While informing media persons that the Arunachal border issue will be taken up in the Parliament tomorrow, Rudy said that it was due to Congress’ ‘failure in international diplomacy.’