37 BJP members quit party

DIMAPUR, APR 7 (NPN) | Publish Date: 4/7/2019 11:53:19 AM IST

In a major jolt to BJP on the eve of Lok Sabha election, 37 members, including its four State executives and five Zunheboto district unit leaders, resigned from primary membership of the party with immediate effect.

In a letter to BJP State president Temjen Imna Along Longkumer, the members explained that they were tendering their resignation as they could not agree with the party’s principles and philosophy in general, particularly its ‘Hindutva policy’, besides with the party’s State leadership led by him and the conduct and functioning of organising secretary Anantha Mishra, which was highly objectionable and abominable. 

The members also listed six specific reasons for their resignation, including their disenchantment with the delay in reaching a final agreement on the Naga political issue, despite signing of the Framework Agreement in 2015 and holding of negotiations umpteen number of times with the Naga National political groups by the NDA government. They said the Naga people were extremely disappointed.

Mentioning that they believed that India is a great democracy and is based on sound principles of equality, secularism, freedom of expression and opportunities, the members said they were, however, saddened that the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) was passed in Lok Sabha and taken up in Rajya Sabha despite opposition by the people of the Northeast, including Nagaland. 

Though the Bill was not introduced in the recent session of Rajya Sabha and therefore was not a law yet, they pointed out that BJP national president Amit Shah had announced in Assam in February 2019 that it would be a part of the party’s manifesto.

 If CAB is passed and becomes an Act, it will have tremendous effect and change the demography of the State and the region, they cautioned. 

“As political leaders in the State, we have no choice but to remain with the people, hence we cannot remain a part of the party that has no respect for minority communities in the country, particularly the Northeast,” the members reasoned. 

They alleged that democracy was at stake in the country as there is no respect for citizens, especially religious and other minority communities. In fact, a cow is safer than a citizen from a minority community in the country today, they added.

The letter said “Northeast is burning because of the Citizenship Amendment Bill. Constitutional provision such as Article 370 is proposed to be scrapped and Article 371(A) may be next.”

Pointing out that the party’s constitution provides that 75% office bearers and executive members should be senior members, the members alleged that this has been completely violated by the present president and his team, adding that 90% senior members are not given any assignments. 

In fact, the letter said many office bearers and executive members are not even aware whether they are even primary members, not to talk of active members. It said there are many members, who had left the party before the last Assembly elections to either contest or support other parties, but are still office bearers. Loyal members have no place in the party, it alleged.

The letter alleged that the principle of one man one post was not being followed as the State president is also a cabinet minister, for which he is unable to give adequate time for the party.

Pointing out that there has been no meeting of the party to discuss any important issue pertaining to functioning or betterment of the party, the members said no party meeting was held after the Assembly elections in 2018 even to felicitate the elected members or take stock of the party’s position or discuss with the candidates who had lost the elections. 

The letter claimed that there is a serious disconnect between the party resident and office bearers and loyal party workers, including senior leaders, because of whom BJP could return with two digit figure for the first time in the Assembly.

Stating that the immoral activities of Mishra had been highlighted in local media and in social media time and again, the members said the cases of cheating, forgery and embezzlement by the State president had made the rank and file of Nagaland BJP hang their heads in shame. The loyal workers have no confidence to go to the electorate before the Lok Sabha polls, they added.

They declared that they agreed entirely with the writers and artistes (published in local dailies on April 2) as well as the farmers on the principle “live and let live”. They said democracy in India is at stake, particularly due to the hate politics of BJP. 

Stating that members of the minority communities are feeling extremely threatened, the members claimed that lynching in the name of gau raksha had become common, along with burning of churches in various parts of the country and the likelihood of the passage of Anti-conversion Bill. The people of Northeast are in the danger of losing their identity and uniqueness because of CAB, they added. 

According to the members, economy too was in doldrums as unemployment has become a matter of very serious concern. 

“We cannot continue to be a party to this serious anti-people policy and governance. In fact, it is our belief that the strength of India lies in unity in diversity,” they explained. 

The members thanked all their colleagues in the State BJP and their friends for their coordinated effort as a team in bringing the party thus far. They also urged all their friends to make an informed choice.

State executive member and former chairman of State BJP’s Finance and Development Committee HK Khulu, State executive members Dr Kuhoi  Zhimomi, Anito Khulu and Zandi Dmota, Zunheboto BJP unit general secretary Vitoli Chophy, Zunheboto BJP unit secretary Oto Shikhu, Zunheboto BJP unit BJYM general secretary Ivuka Z, Zunheboto BJP unit secretary Hutoshe Chophi, Zunheboto BJP unit media cell convener Ikiho Yeptho and Zunheboto BJP unit minority cell secretary Nokheto were among the 37 members who had quit the party.

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