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Can Ally with BJP if They Don’t Impose Religion, Says Nagaland CM TR Zeliang

In an interview to News18, BJP general secretary and the person in-charge of party's affairs in the North East, Ram Madhav said that his party hadn't got into an alliance with the NPF in Nagaland owing to differences in seat sharing.

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Updated:February 15, 2018, 10:06 AM IST
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Can Ally with BJP if They Don’t Impose Religion, Says Nagaland CM TR Zeliang
File image of Nagaland CM TR Zeliang. (Photo by Caisii Mao via Getty Images)
New Delhi: Nagaland Chief Minister TR Zeliang has said that doors for an alliance between his party Naga People's Front (NPF) and BJP would still open if the latter doesn't try to impose a religion in the state.

"There is no difference between BJP and NPF," Zeliang told the Indian Express, adding, "But as far as culture and religion is concerned, if they try to dominate, it is the wrong agenda and is the wrong concept...Only the concept to dominate the religion should not come in, the culture should not be disturbed."

NPF has been a regional ally of the BJP in Nagaland for over a decade-and-a-half. But this time BJP decided to ally with another regional party - the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) - after talks with the NPF over seat sharing broke down.

In an interview to News18, BJP general secretary and the person in-charge of party's affairs in the North East, Ram Madhav had confirmed that his party hadn't got into an alliance with the NPF owing to differences in seat sharing.

Zeliang is not the first member from this party to have issued warning to the BJP on the issue of religion.

The NPF president and former CM of the state, Shurozelie Liezietsu, in a poll speech in the state quoted Article 25 of the Constitution that assures every citizen the right to practise their own religion, which he said was under threat because of the saffron party. Liezietsu also spoke of the Centre’s failure to grant Baptist World Alliance leader Revend Paul Msiza a visa to visit Meghalaya, and talked about the murder of Christian missionary worker Graham Staines, who killed by Bajrang Dal members.

The issue of the perceived cultural dominance by BJP has been raked up in the poll bound state, of which over 90% population is Christian, several times in the run up to elections scheduled later this month.

It was only last week that the Nagaland Baptist Church Council (NBCC) issued a warning to the locals asking them to choose between 'Trishul' and 'Cross'.

The state's biggest church organisation said that "the Hindutva movement in this country has become unprecedently strong and invasive in the last few years with the BJP."

The open letter described the saffron party as destroying Christianity in the country and said that since it came to power in the centre, the country had seen "worst persecution of minority communities" in India.

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| Edited by: Ashish Yechury
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