Union minister of state for minority affairs John Barla on February 15 claimed that the people of Nagaland have “accepted” the BJP, chief minister Neiphiu Rio and deputy chief minister Y Patton.
Barla said this was proved by the huge gatherings during his election campaign meetings, along with Patton and BJP national spokesperson and in charge of Nagaland Nalin Kohli, for BJP candidates at three constituencies of Seyochung Sititmi, Noklak and Tusensang Sadar-I today.
“We have done many development works in Nagaland and many more are yet to be done,” he said.
Barla dismissed reports that the BJP is anti-Christian as rumours spread by opposition parties.
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“We have to be united without which there can be no development,” he said.
BJP spokesperson Kohli clarified that there is no confusion about the BJP-NDPP alliance in the state, saying “we are committed to being alliance”.
He rejected “rumours” that the NDPP has sponsored some candidates against the BJP in certain constituencies in the state.
Kohli said they are very happy with the people’s response at the campaign meetings held to spread the message of peace and development in the three constituencies today. He informed that a galaxy of central BJP leaders will come for campaigning in Nagaland, adding that they also looking for opportunities to campaign together with CM Rio who is from the NDPP.
Kohli also said Barla, who was a pastor earning Rs 5,000 a month and is a devout Christian, was given a ticket to contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections by the BJP and made a minister in the Union government.
On the Congress’ claim that the RSS-backed Janajati Dharma Sanskriti Suraksha Manch (JDSSM) is demanding the delisting of tribal Christians from the ST list, he said the BJP has no knowledge about any such organisation and also has nothing to do with it.
“We go to the people with development agenda while the Congress does press conferences sitting in rooms,” he said.
Deputy CM Patton said there is no question of harassing Christians across the country, calling it propaganda and rumour spread by the opposition parties.
He said there is “no issue” on seat-sharing between the NDPP and BJP now while appealing to the BJP ticket seekers to support the alliance candidates. Patton claimed that the alliance will get more than 40 seats in the 60-member Nagaland assembly in the coming elections.
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