Tribal groups ask BJP to clear stand on naga Political issue

KOHIMA: Naga tribal organisations have asked the BJP’s state unit, which backed out of a joint declaration for not contesting the assembly polls, to come clean on whether it was committed to finding a solution to the Naga political issue.

The core committee of the Naga Tribal Hoho and civil organisations said the BJP should clarify its stand after the party backed out of the joint declaration as it has created confusion in the state.

Representatives of 11 political parties, including the Naga People’s Front, the BJP and the Congress, had decided on Monday to not contest the February 27 elections, agreeing to the demand of tribal groups and civil society groups to resolve the Naga political problem first.

State BJP president Visasolie Lhoungu had said that the party’s central leadership will take a call on the matter.

The BJP has suspended its state executive council member Kheto Semaparty, who had signed the joint declaration.

“The BJP cannot speak with forked tongue when even after signing the joint declaration, it has put in place a game plan to scuttle the voice of solution to Naga problem before the ensuing election,” core committee convener Theja Therieh and co-convener David Sangtam said in a statement in Kohima on Tuesday night.

“The party suspended its member for signing the historic declaration when he was authorised by none other than the state BJP president to sign on behalf of the party… This treacherous act will not go unchallenged,” Theja Therieh said.

The state BJP chief had said he had asked Mr Kheto to attend the meeting but had not authorised him to sign the joint declaration.

“We had authorised two party leaders to attend the meeting but had also said that if there is anything regarding the elections, the party’s national leaders should be consulted,” he said.

Accusing the BJP of “playing a dirty game” to grab political power at the expense of Naga aspirations, they said it was exemplified by their slogan “Election for Solution”.

“The core committee representing all the apex tribal hohos (organisations) and mass-based civil societies would like to question whether the state BJP is committed to finding solution to the seven-decade old Naga political issue,” the statement said.

The core committee also demanded that the state BJP revoke the suspension of their state executive member Kheto Sema who had signed the joint declaration.