Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge has accused the Narendra Modi government of not having the political will to implement the agreed solutions.
Addressing a rally at Diphupar village public ground on Tuesday, Kharge alleged that the Central government had cheated the people of Nagaland and the country as well.
Referring to the delayed solution of Naga political issue, he recalled that Modi had announced on August 3, 2015 that Naga issue was resolved with the signing of “Naga Accord”, which was later renamed as Framework Agreement. However, he pointed out that eight years down the line, the announcement had come to nought.
He mentioned that Modi had on August 2019 given a three-month deadline for peaceful resolution of Naga political issue, to which then governor RN Ravi had responded by saying that it was long enough duration to conclude the issue.
Kharge pointed that not only the deadline had failed, but, as result of Oting killings on December 4, 2021, the Modi government extended disturbed area tag and extended AFSPA for another six months on December 30, 2021.
He asserted, “BJP is not at all serious in resolving the Naga political issue. So much so, that this topical issue does not even figure in their 41-page manifesto.”
He claimed that Congress-led governments were the first to agree to talks at the Prime Minister’s level, as demanded by rebel leaders, first with FGN in 1960s and later with NSCN.
He also claimed that Congress was the only party that had actually initiated the process to find a peaceful solution to Naga political Issue and it still remained a top commitment as evident in “our manifesto”.
Cong-led alliance to come to power in 2024: The Congress chief also claimed that the party would lead the alliance of other like-minded parties and come to power at the Centre in 2024.
“This country will not be ruled by an autocrat that dictates people. In 2024 (Parliamentary elections), the Congress will lead the alliance government at the Centre… Therefore, the BJP will lose their majority and we will get majority and we will follow the Constitution. “Let 100 Modis or Shahs come. This is India and our constitution is very strong”, he stated.
Congress’ contribution: Kharge claimed that Congress held a special love and respect for people of Nagaland and recalled how Jawaharlal Nehru had on August 1, 1959 announced in Parliament the decision to convert Naga Hills Tuensang Area (NHTA) into a State, which was later inaugurated on December 1, 1963 by then President Dr S Radhakrishnan.
He said the Congress government had granted special status to Nagaland by incorporating Article 371 (A) in the Constitution that came into effect from 1 December, 1963 to safeguard the interests of the hill State and its people. He reminded the gathering that Nagaland was the first State to be accorded this special status.
“For Congress, the welfare of Nagaland has always been of utmost priority and we assure you it will always be so,” he stated.
BJP ‘divisive’: Kharge asserted that the Congress would not keep quiet in addressing the issues of the state as well as the country, adding that it would fight tooth and nail, not only in the Parliament, but also outside parliament.
He alleged that BJP had entered the state of Nagaland and was on the mission to push the RSS agenda by following their divide and rule policy.
The Congress president warned that Naga identity was at stake as BJP and its ideological mentor RSS had a problem with it. He alleged that the party wanted to recast indigenous people as vanvasi. “This recasting of Adivasis into a vanvasi is integral to the ideological project of BJP/RSS,” he claimed.
He alleged that BJP never had any concern or priority for Nagaland and that it was hell bent upon creating division within Nagaland and abrogating Article 371 (A) to pave the way for easy implementation of Uniform Civil Code as part of its divisive agenda.
“BJP’s politics is aimed at destroying the indigenous and unique culture of Nagas. The people of Nagaland must stand up against this attack on the culture of Nagaland and the politics of polarisation and hatred,” he exhorted.
Apart from highlighting issues confronting the State, Kharge also spoke on other issues like as inflation, unemployment, economic situation, attack on democratic institutions, etc.
Also addressing the gathering, AICC in-charge for Nagaland, Dr. Ajoy Kumar pointed out that Nagaland has the worst roads and was the only state in India without a medical college while government hospitals were operating under candle light. He said Nagas with rich culture and heritage, God fearing, nicest people in any industry, deserve much better.
Therefore, he said, if the Nagas were worried about future their children, health, jobs, security etc. they should vote for the right people to deliver.
Further dwelling on the attacks on Christians and minorities across the country, Dr Ajoy questioned how could Amit Shah come to Nagaland and say BJP respects all religions, but attack Christians and minorities on the other hand.
In his brief address, AICC general secretary and Member of Parliament, Mukul Wasnik wondered how could a party like the NDPP agree to have seat sharing alliance with a party like BJP, a party that does not believe in socialism, democracy and secularism.
“They believe in one nation, one religion and believe only in one language that is Hindi and believe that the people should wear only those clothes which the BJP wants and also decide on what people should eat and drink…,” Wasnik said.
NPCC president K Therie and former chief minister, KL Chishi also addressed the gathering.
Earlier, the welcome address was delivered by NPCC working president Bobby Pannicker. He also put forward an appeal letter by Ao Baptist Church Organization (ABAM) to the Congress president to take stock of the persecution of Christians and minorities across the country, to be taken up in the parliament.