GUWAHATI: The Opposition in Nagaland has expressed outrage over the saffron party’s move to get party leaders to immerse the ashes of late BJP stalwart Atal Bihari Vajpayee in the state and elsewhere in the country. BJP leaders are also not happy as they feel it will not ‘go down well.’
The Congress on Friday said the immersion of Vajpayee's ashes in some selected rivers of the country had been turned into a "political circus" by BJP.
The party observed that last rites are usually performed by family members for peace of the departed soul, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP had "usurped" the last remains of Vajpayee and were using it for petty political gains.
"Having consigned the former PM into political oblivion after the 2004 election defeat and rendering his political thoughts and actions irrelevant through its divisive agenda and hate politics, the BJP’s sudden affection for the former PM after his demise is just a ploy to extract some cheap political mileage," the Congress said.
It also said, "The activities of BJP in Nagaland and particularly its state president, who displayed eagerness to please communal masters by following and observing rituals that are alien to our way of life, is an insult to all right-thinking Nagas. While we Nagas have been struggling for the past seven decades to protect our unique history, the all-out attempt by state BJP to assimilate themselves into a new alien culture as dictated by their high command is a severe assault on the aspirations of the Nagas.”
The state BJP was also not happy with its Nagaland chief Temjen Imna Along’s decision to bring the ashes for immersion in river Doyang.
"It (urn full of ashes) has been kept at his (Along's) Kohima resident. He will take a call tomorrow (Saturday) as to when it will be immersed. Many of us asked him not to bring the ashes and suggested we hold a prayer meeting in remembrance of Vajpayee. His action will surely not go down well," a BJP leader told TNIE on condition of anonymity.