Recalling her decades-old association with Mizoram, Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP) Chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday released a video in which she made a “personal appeal” to the people to vote for her party in the November 7 Assembly election to ensure peace and progress in the northeastern State.
Ms. Gandhi said the Congress respected the Mizo way of life, while the BJP had put the Mizo Accord in danger. She said the Mizo National Front (MNF) and the Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) were the gateway for the BJP into Mizoram and alleged that its [BJP] politics had divided the Manipuri society.
“This is no time for experiments,” Ms. Gandhi said, adding that only the Congress could guarantee development in the State and empower the people of Mizoram. “But most of all, we stand for the protection of the Mizo way of life as enshrined in Article 371-G of the Constitution of India, which is the legacy of [former Prime Minister] Rajiv Gandhi,” she said. In a reference to the party’s election election symbol, Ms. Gandhi said the Congress was “the hand of experience and security”.
Ms. Gandhi, in the more than three-minute-long video appeal, launched an all-out attack on the BJP-RSS and claimed that democracy in Mizoram and the Northeast, like elsewhere, was “under threat”. She said the BJP did not care about “diversity, democracy and dialogue” and wanted to impose uniformity across India.
Referring to Manipur, the Congress leader said, “Six months of suffering have gone by, but there is no effort towards peace and reconciliation. The Prime Minister is completely silent and has not seen it fit to visit Manipur for even a few hours.”
She also recalled her personal bond with the people of Mizoram and mentioned the visits she made with her husband.
“I remember with great fondness particularly the visit with my family right after the signing of the historic Mizo Peace Accord on June 30, 1986. The Accord is celebrated every year as Remna Ni,” she said.