Congress General Secretary in charge of Communications, Jairam Ramesh said that it is important to protect India’s diversity and safeguard democracy. The senior Congress leader during a press conference in Kohima today said that RSS and BJP have an agenda for one nation election, one tax, one party, one leader, with the aim to undermine India’s diversity while imposing “artificial uniformity.”

Congress jairam ramesh
Jairam Ramesh

Ramesh, who was on a two-day campaign trail in support of the Congress candidate for the lone Lok Sabha seat in Nagaland, S Supongmeren Jamir, said that the BJP-led government has removed Article 370 and expressed concern that the same government will even remove Article 371 A. The BJP’s agenda is to destroy the essence of India’s diversity including the varieties in religion, ethnicity, region, food and dress, he alleged.

The BJP-ruled Manipur has been burning for 11 months where people have been targeted for their religion and ethnicity, the senior Congress leader said. Ramesh said he is afraid that what started in Manipur will spread over to other northeastern states to “destroy the diversity of the region”.

“The BJP has bluffed the Meiteis, Kukis and Nagas and the present situation is the outcome of its bluff and rule policy… Manipur should be a wake-up call to people of the northeast,” he claimed.

Ramesh affirmed that the Congress, once back in power, will work for protection of diversity of India which, he claimed, is under threat under the BJP-RSS.

Ramesh also criticized the ruling government in Nagaland, which operates without opposition, alleging that all parties have aligned with NDPP and are orchestrated by the BJP. Ramesh stressed the necessity of opposition in a democracy to amplify voices of the people.

Ramesh also outlined five guarantees of justice promised by the Congress Party to citizens. He underscored that the 2024 Lok Sabha Election is crucial for preserving democracy and urged people to place their trust in the leadership of the Congress Party at the national level. Additionally, he urged voters to support the INC candidate in the state to bolster party’s efforts to safeguard democracy.

The party today also launched Congress party manifesto which is also called Nyay Yatra for the state.

BJP Govt pursuing policy of ‘bluff and rule’

The Congress leader alleged that the BJP government at the Centre has been pursuing the policy of ‘bluff and rule’, besides maintaining the ‘divide and rule’ strategy of the British. Prime Minister Narendra Modi made several promises to the people of Nagaland about solving the Naga political issue but those were not kept, Ramesh alleged.

In the coming Lok Sabha elections, people need freedom from this BJP-led government, he said.

“The most important issue for the people of Nagaland and the country is freedom. In 1947, we got freedom from divide and rule, while in 2024 we need freedom from bluff & rule,” he said.

“Indians want freedom from bluff and rule, people want freedom of speech, want jobs and justice,” Ramesh voiced.

The Centre signed a Framework Agreement with the NSCN-IM in 2015 and “Modi termed it as a game changer”, he said. In 2015, the Centre signed the ‘Framework Agreement’ with the NSCN-IM, but the details of the pact were never revealed to the public, Ramesh claimed.

In 2017, the Central government signed the ‘Agreed Position’ with the working committee of the Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs), but no action has been taken since the agreement was inked, the Congress leader told the media.

Ramesh also said that in 2023, the Eastern Nagaland People’s Organisation announced that it would abstain from the Assembly elections unless Eastern Nagaland was granted autonomy.

The abstention was lifted after the Union Home Ministry agreed to meet their demands, Ramesh said, adding that a year later, the ENPO has been left hanging, and is now calling upon the people to boycott the Lok Sabha elections.

“Every time Modi makes promises, he says it is a game changer… People don’t know the details of the different agreements and promises. But what we all know is that people have been bluffed by Modi,” he claimed.

Congress for permanent solution to Naga political issue

“The BJP government only makes grand announcements, which are followed by zero action. It only cares about headline management. The so-called double-engine government in Nagaland is a joke. What the state needs is a permanent solution to its political issue, and that’s what the Congress has committed in its Nyay Patra,” Ramesh said.

On the Naga issue, Ramesh said that the Centre had started negotiations with the Naga group in the 1990s and the Congress was close to signing an agreement in 2013 but the party was defeated in the 2014 elections.

“There is a lot of history to what has happened to Nagaland but a new chapter must begin by embracing all sections of Naga society. It has to be an all-inclusive permanent settlement,” he said.

MTNews Desk

(With inputs from AIR, PTI, IANS)

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