Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio on Saturday wondered if the BJP is called communal, how can Congress be different as it is also “giving undue protection to certain communities”.
“The BJP has been termed as communal. Then what about the Congress? They are also giving undue protection to certain
communities which is also communal act,” Rio told reporters here.
“If BJP is communal, the Congress is also communal because they are doing the same thing while trying to shield certain community,” he said. Rio, also the Convenor of the North East Regional Parties Front (NERPF), an all regional front which became united ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, arrived here to attend a general council of the United Democratic Party (UDP).
Elaborating issues related to 2002 Gujarat riots and the 1984 killing of Sikhs in Delhi, Rio alleged that the Congress is communal. “In Gurajat, Hindus died, Muslim died, members of public died, police died, but in Delhi except the Sikhs nobody died. Not even a single police was injured because they were not out to protect. So the difference of the two is very clear,” he said.
Stating that in a complex country like India, nobody is clean and nobody has the moral authority to point fingers at the other, he said, “No party should run the country by protecting their organisations above national interest.”
Recalling the 2008 elections in Nagaland, the chief minister said that two months to the elections, President’s rule was imposed by creating decadence groups. “Is it for the good of the country? No, it is to protect the interest of the party,” Rio charged.
“They can afford to do this in a small state not with big ones because they can’t play with big states,” he said. Asked whether the NERPF would come up with a joint manifesto to raised common issues concerning all the NE states, Rio said “we will be basing our manifesto on a 17 point resolution taken up recently in Guwahati, Assam.”
Rio is also a candidate for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls from Nagaland. The Armed Forces Special Power’s Act (AFSPA) will
continue to be one of the major issue to be taken up. “The AFSPA was enforced specifically for Nagaland Hills because of the Naga political issue and this have been used elsewhere in the country, so we are always against this,” he said.
According to him, despite known as the biggest democracy in the world, “We are using the draconian laws where men in uniform and personnel can take law into their hands.” On security and safety of people from North East living in mainland India, the chief minister said that a government has to be pro-active.
On his opinion about the prime minister’s candidatures of Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi, he said, “they may be the best people, but the people will give the verdict and will all come to see.”