Despite criticism, BJP in Nagaland will immerse Vajpayee’s ashes

GUWAHATI, AUG 25 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 8/25/2018 11:23:31 AM IST

Turning a deaf ear to the criticism of opposition Congress, the BJP in Nagaland has decided to go ahead with the proposed immersion of the ashes of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

BJP state unit chief Temjen Imna Along Longkumer said the ashes would be immersed on Monday.

“Yes, I will immerse the ashes in Doyang river on Monday,” he told TNIE. He had brought the ashes from New Delhi on Thursday and kept it at his residence in state capital Kohima.

Apart from Congress, a section of BJP workers and leaders was not happy over the move to immerse the ashes through local leaders and by following “alien” rituals. These BJP leaders had earlier suggested to Longkumer not to bring the ashes and hold a prayer meeting instead, in remembrance of Vajpayee. However, he did not accept the idea, TNIE report stated. 

Asked about the criticism by Congress on the issue, Longkumer said: “Congress is doing its job. There is no ritual only respect to our departed leader”.

The Congress on Friday had said the immersion of Vajpayee’s ashes in some selected rivers of the country had been turned into a “political circus” by BJP and its Nagaland unit.

“The activities of BJP Nagaland and particularly its state president displaying their eagerness to please their communal masters by following and observing rituals that are alien to our way of life is an insult to all right-thinking Nagas. While 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 and their future,” the Congress had said.

Meanwhile, in another Christian-majority state, Mizoram, Vajpayee’s ashes was immersed in Tlawng river.

The urn, containing the ashes, was brought to Aizawl from New Delhi by state BJP chief JV Hluna. The immersion followed a funeral with full Christian religious honour at BJP’s state head office.


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