Rijiju ‘falsifying’, ‘distorting’ history: Congress leader

New Delhi: A Congress leader today lashed out at Union Minister Kiren Rijiju for “falsifying and distorting” history after the latter said that former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the first national leader to acknowledge the Naga struggle.

All India Congress Committee (AICC) observer for the Nagaland Assembly polls, Praveen Davar, also charged Rijiju for forgetting the contributions made by former prime ministers of the Congress, including Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Manmohan Singh, in addressing the long-standing Naga issue.

Davar slammed Rijiju also for stating that “religion is above politics” and alleged that it is the minister’s party, the BJP, which was mixing religion with politics.

Nagaland has a substantial Christian population.

“The BJP leaders are adept in falsifying and distorting history.

Rijiju said Vajpayee was the first national leader to acknowledge the Naga struggle. He has conveniently forgotten the contribution of Congress prime ministers from Nehru to Singh,” Davar said in a statement.

Davar, who is currently in the poll-bound northeastern state, also said that the former prime ministers from the Congress had “generously” helped Nagaland with “massive” economic package.

The Congress leader also accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of not acting against BJP leaders for allegedly encouraging communalism.

Davar also raised questions on Rijiju’s remark that “Christians have to be protected at all cost”.

“How can a party which ill-treats Christians in coastal Karanataka, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi be trusted to be fair to Christians in Nagaland?” he asked.

Addressing a rally in the poll-bound state yesterday, the Minister of State for Home Affairs had rubbished opponents’ charge of the BJP being “anti-Christian” and said the party was clear that interest of the majority Christian people have to be protected at all cost.

Nagaland goes to polls on February 27.