Himanta rapped over blaming religious leaders for NDA loss

On Thursday, the Assam CM had said BJP workers in the three states told him that the elections were “almost a religious war”.
Himanta rapped over blaming religious leaders for NDA loss

GUWAHATI : The Voice of the People Party (VPP) in Meghalaya hit back at Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Friday for his statement that the NDA suffered in Nagaland, Manipur and Meghalaya due to the involvement of religious leaders in the Lok Sabha elections.

Describing the statement as “unfounded, baseless and communal in nature”, VPP chief Ardent Miller Basaiawmoit said Sarma should mind his own business and party.

“I condemn the statement made by Himanta Biswa Sarma that a particular religion in Meghalaya was the cause for the defeat of the NDA candidates. The Church in Meghalaya has never been involved in electoral politics,” Basaiawmoit said.

“He has no right to interfere in the affairs of Meghalaya…The people of the state have the right to elect any person as long as he or she is a citizen of India. They are not so naive to not know the aims, objectives, agenda and manifestos of the political parties,” the VPP chief said.

He said the people of Meghalaya would elect a party which believes in the Constitution, secularism and protects the interests of the minority communities. “Therefore, you cannot expect that as a Christian, I will vote or elect a person who belongs to a party that stands against the Constitution of India, which is not secular and is a threat to the minorities in the country,” he added.

On Thursday, the Assam CM had said BJP workers in the three states told him that the elections were “almost a religious war”.

“When religious people take part in politics in those states, then politicians cannot compete and their role becomes minimised. I think this is the reason why we suffered in certain areas of Northeast,” Sarma had said.

The CM had also said that people had certain grievances and they expressed the same through voting.

The two seats in Meghalaya were bagged by the VPP and the Congress. The Congress also won the two seats in ethnic violence-hit Manipur and the lone seat in Nagaland. Meghalaya and Nagaland are Christian-majority states.

The BJP and its regional allies improved upon their performance in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls in Assam but Congress made a comeback the Northeast comprising 25 constituencies. The Congress won seven seats across four states, three more than its tally across Assam and Meghalaya five years ago.

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