BJP denies State president performing ritual of immersing Vajpayee’s ashes

DIMPUR, AUG 30 (NPN) | Publish Date: 8/30/2018 10:45:27 AM IST

BJP Nagaland unit has termed the controversy surrounding immersion of ashes of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in the State’s river as unfortunate, even as the party clarified that it had never been its intention nor of its president Temjen Imna Along to hurt the sentiment of any individual, organisations or hoho.

A statement by State BJP chief spokesperson, Kuputo Shohe clarified that Along, besides paying “due and deserved respect” to the leader, did not perform any ritual of a different religion and that it was performed by persons belonging to Hindu religion from the party’s State unit minority cell. 

He said state BJP leaders, particularly the Nagas, were all Christians and aware of Christian ethics and thus in no way would intentionally hurt sentiments of people of the State. 

According to Shohe, the ashes of Vajpayee were sent to all the for paying homage to the great leader and that, along with rest of India, Christian States of the Northeast– Mizoram, Meghalaya and Nagaland – also received the urns containing the ashes. He said each State, as a sign of respect, honoured the last remains of the great leader in their own respective ways.

Kuputo pointed out that India was a “Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, Democratic, Republic” where every citizen enjoyed the right of freedom of religion. And when the Constitution of India ensured equal respect for all religion, it was only right that the urn containing the ashes of Vajpayee was brought to Nagaland, he reasoned. 

As citizens of the great country India, he urged people of the State on behalf of BJP Nagaland to respect the same right that “we enjoy within the ambit of the same constitution.”

Pointing out further that the constitution ensured equal right, protection and respect for all faiths, Shohe remarked, “As much as we value the guaranteed right and raise voice against discrimination of our faith anywhere, we ought to respect the same about others before imposing our own in our domain.”

While regretting if anyone’s sentiment had been hurt, particularly Lotha Hoho being the most vocal, Shohe said State BJP was hopeful that the clarification would put to rest the controversy surrounding the conduct of rituals of the last remains of “our great leader”. 

On behalf of BJP, he also humbly requested citizens of the State to kindly appreciate the works of late leader for the cause of Nagas that required no explanation and put to rest the “unfortunate controversy once and for all”.


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