Congress leader Jairam Ramesh: BJP manifesto failed to highlight Naga political issue and ENPO demand

Guwahati: Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on February 16 remarked that it was now time for the Naga people to pause and reconsider the “bluff” that the NDPP-BJP combine had used against them.

Speaking to the media in Kohima, Ramesh said that the BJP-NDPP coalition government must be transparent about its goals for the Naga people before running for office.

He emphasised that neither the demand of the Eastern Nagaland People’s Organization (ENPO) or the Naga political issue were addressed in the 41-page BJP platform.

He claimed that although the ENPO delegation relaxed its August 16, 2022, resolve not to take part in any electoral process, Federal Home Minister Amit Shah’s promised travel to eastern Nagaland in January to meet with stakeholders to discuss the problem was never made. “What has kept the government and the home minister to walk the talk,” Ramesh asked.

According to him, the ENPO relaxed the resolution on February 4 with immediate effect in response to the MHA’s request and the subsequent assurance given to its officials on February 2 by the home minister that a solution as mutually agreed upon will be reached following the due process after the election process is complete.

According to him, the assurance offered to the Naga people is not unique, and the way the problem is being handled is a defining feature of the BJP’s bogus promises. “Else why would it not find a place in their vision document,” he asked.

The Rajya Sabha representative for the Congress claimed that the BJP wants to take office again without being held accountable and without include any mention of a political solution for the Naga issue in its programme.

“What face does the home minister have to show to the trusting people of Nagaland when he comes to campaign here? What response would he or PM Narendra Modi give if asked about the series of missed deadlines, and failed commitments in terms of the resolution of the Naga political solution,” Ramesh asked.

He claimed that BJP national president JP Nadda unveiled an elaborate but incomplete document that only mentions a few benefits for the eastern area, the majority of which were previously extensively outlined in the Congress manifesto two weeks prior.

Ramesh claims that the BJP’s pledges to invest in cultural research, build all-weather roads, provide self-employment opportunities for young people, and build a railroad network by 2024 are meaningless to the average Nagalander who lacks access to even clean water and reliable electricity.

He asserted that the resolution of the Naga political dispute was the initiative of Congress and that it was one of the party’s top pledges.

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