The National Peoples Party (NPP) on Saturday said it will work to fight against alleged discrimination faced by citizens of the northeast in various parts of the country.
At a virtual conclave, the party passed a resolution to work towards national integration and respect for one another.
Meghalaya Chief Minister and NPP national president Conrad K Sangma, party national secretaries James K Sangma, Mutchu Mithi, Lalrintluanga Jahau, Sashank Ghatraj and Thomas Sangma, among others, attended the conclave via videoconferencing.
"As the only party with a national status originating from the northeast region, we unanimously pass a resolution to voice and fight against discrimination of northeast citizens based on race, culture, region and religion," the resolution, which was passed unanimously, read.
According to reports, during the initial days of the COVID-19 pandemic, people from the northeast became targets of racial slurs and discrimination in parts of the country and were labelled as "Chinese".
In March, Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga had tweeted a video showing some Naga students being prevented from entering a grocery store in Mysuru.
He had urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah to check such incidents.
NPP president Sangma had also spoken to Mysuru MP Pratap Simha about the incident.
Speaking at the conclave, Sangma said, "Political scenario in the nation, particularly the northeast, has seen a lot of change in the past few years. We clearly see that there is a vacuum as far as leadership is concerned."
"In less than six years of its formation, the NPP has got the status of a national party, while many other political parties are still struggling.
"It is not only a matter of pride but an indication that the party has been widely accepted in the region and the people want the NPP to be the voice and the platform for the unheard," he said.
Sangma urged party leaders to strengthen the NPP's footprint across the country, particularly in east and northeast.
He also welcomed the new party members from North Bengal and congratulated newly-elected Rajya Sabha member from Meghalaya W R Kharlukhi, who also attended the meeting.
The Election Commission recognised the NPP as the country's eighth national party in June last year.
The party fulfilled the criteria by being a state party in four states - Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, and Arunachal Pradesh.
The NPP is a constituent of the Northeast Democratic Alliance (NEDA), a political coalition of the northeast headed by the BJP.
While the NPP is in power in Meghalaya, it's part of the BJP-led government in Manipur. In Arunachal Pradesh, four MLAs of the party have lent outside support to the BJP.