Congress 'abusing' culture for votes: Modi in Mizoram

Congress 'abusing' culture for votes: Modi in Mizoram

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Mizoram. DH photo

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday alleged that Congress leaders were 'abusing' culture of Mizoram to win elections as part of its country-wide 'divide and rule' policy.

"Mizoram has preserved its unique culture and language for generations. According to me, real development is what is rooted in your culture and traditions. This is my vision not just for Mizoram but for the entire country. BJP has been trying to encourage and promote Indian culture across the world but I am deeply anguished to see Congress leaders abusing culture and language for political gains," Modi said while addressing a rally at Lunglei, situated around 175-km South of Aizawl, Mizoram capital.

Modi's anguish is believed to be directed towards Congress president Rahul Gandhi's allegation here two days ago that BJP and RSS are trying to make inroads into Mizoram to impose its Hindutva ideology on the unique culture, history and traditions in the Christian-majority state. 

Mizoram goes for Assembly elections on November 28 and BJP has for the first time fielded its candidates in 39 of the 40 seats. The ruling Congress has alleged that BJP and the opposition Mizo National Front are in a 'secret pact' to form a coalition government after the polls as 'Hindu BJP' is not accepted in the Christian-majority Mizoram.

Modi also held a closed-door meeting with leaders of the influential NGOs and civil society organisations here at Aijal Club, for about 20 minutes after the Lunglei meeting. The Central Young Mizo Association, an NGO here said they raised the demand for proper settlement of the Bru refugees in Mizoram, who have been languishing in relief camps in neighbouring Tripura since 1997, following an ethnic conflict.

Alleging that Congress was only interested in power, Modi said BJP was committed for the development of the Northeast. "We are spending over Rs. 90,000 crores to improve infrastructure in the Northeast such as roads, rails, air and digital connectivity. But Congress government in Mizoram has failed to utilise the money sanctioned by the Centre. So people of Mizoram should elect a BJP government to reap the benefit of the double engine of same government at the Centre and in the state like Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Assam have done," he said.