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Cong wants to protect India's diversity, BJP for destroying it: Jairam Ramesh

The variety of cultures, languages and ways of life in the northeastern region faces threat under the BJP regime, Ramesh claimed
Last Updated : 12 April 2024, 18:24 IST
Last Updated : 12 April 2024, 18:24 IST

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Aizawl: Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh attacked the BJP on Friday, claiming that the saffron camp wants to destroy India’s diversity, while the grand old party seeks to celebrate it.

The variety of cultures, languages and ways of life in the northeastern region faces threat under the BJP regime, Ramesh claimed.

“There is a fundamental difference between the BJP and the Congress. The BJP wants to impose uniformity across the country. The Congress, on the other hand, aims to strengthen unity by celebrating the country's diversity,” he said.

“The BJP is destroying the soul of India. So we are fighting the elections to preserve our diversities that have defined India, and not to impose an artificial uniformity across states, across cultures and across regions,' Ramesh said.

The Congress Rajya Sabha MP said that the northeastern states, particularly Mizoram, are a land of diverse religions, diverse languages and diverse ways of life.

He claimed that the BJP's idea of one nation one election and one nation one culture is against the very idea of India.

Accusing the BJP of following a “bluff and rule” policy, the senior Congress leader said that Manipur is an example of that.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government have bluffed the Meiteis, the Kukis and the Nagas of Manipur, he alleged.

Ethnic strife has been continuing in the northeastern state for the past 11 months but the prime minister failed to visit it for once and did not speak about its condition even for three minutes, Ramesh alleged.

At least 219 people were killed in violence between Meitei and Kuki communities in Manipur since May last year.

"What has happened in Manipur is a direct result of the policy of polarisation and divisiveness of the BJP and the RSS. Manipur shows the consequences of the BJP's politics of hate and not respecting the cultures of the local people,"Ramesh said.

Ramesh claimed that the upcoming Lok Sabha polls are crucial for the survival of the Constitution, democracy and freedom of speech.

"It is not just a battle for votes. It is a battle for the soul of India," he said.

He expressed confidence that the Congress-led INDIA bloc would emerge victorious in the Lok Sabha elections, repeating its show of 2004 when nobody expected the party to win.

The former union minister said that the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) swept the Lok Sabha polls in 2004 when everyone thought the “country was shining” and then again in 2009.

Ramesh was referring to the “India Shining” campaign initiated by the Atal Behari Bajpayee government.

"I think in 2024, we will see a repeat of 2004 and 2009 since the people of India are fed up with 10 years of drama and false promises by the BJP," Ramesh said while unveiling the party manifesto.

He alleged that Mizoram's ruling Zoram People's Movement (ZPM), the BJP and the Mizo National Front (MNF) have no difference.

The Congress is the only party that is standing up to the policies and ideologies of the BJP and the RSS, Ramesh claimed.

"If given a chance, the ZPM will join the NDA. The vote for the MNF means voting for the BJP. Similarly, vote for ZPM is vote for BJP," he said.

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Published 12 April 2024, 18:24 IST

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