Assam CM Himanta Sarma’s ‘anti-Christian’ view over Lok Sabha poll results slammed

Meghalaya and Nagaland-based political parties said Himanta Biswa Sarma should stop interfering in the affairs of their States

Updated - June 08, 2024 09:47 pm IST

Published - June 08, 2024 07:43 pm IST - GUWAHATI

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma  addressing a press conference after a cabinet meeting, at  Lok Sewa Bhawan, Janata Bhawan, Dispur in Guwahati on Thursday.

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma addressing a press conference after a cabinet meeting, at Lok Sewa Bhawan, Janata Bhawan, Dispur in Guwahati on Thursday. | Photo Credit: ANI

GUWAHATI

Meghalaya and Nagaland-based political parties have slammed Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma for blaming the electoral loss of the NDA candidates in these States on leaders of a “particular faith”.

Candidates of the Bharatiya Janata Party allies — the National People’s Party (NPP) and the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) — lost the Shillong and Tura Lok Sabha seats in Meghalaya and the lone constituency in Nagaland.

“The Assam Chief Minister, who seems to be a habitual loose talker, should mind his own business and look at his own backyard. He has no right whatsoever to interfere in the affairs of Meghalaya as far as the recently-concluded Parliamentary election is concerned,” Ardent Miller Basaiawmoit, the chief of the Voice of the People Party (VPP), said in Meghalaya’s capital Shillong on Friday.

The VPP’s Ricky Andrew J. Syngkon bagged the Shillong seat by defeating three-time MP Vincent H. Pala of Congress by 3.72 lakh votes. The NPP’s Mazel Ampareen Lyngdoh finished a distant third.

The NPP’s Agatha K. Sangma failed to retain the Tura seat, which Saleng A. Sangma of Congress won.

“The people of Meghalaya have the right to choose any person as long as he is an Indian citizen and qualified to contest. They are not so naïve to not know the aims, objectives, agenda, and manifestos of the political parties which contested the polls,” Mr. Basaiawmoit said, condemning the Assam Chief Minister for trying to portray Christians in the region as partisan.

He asserted that the church in Meghalaya has never been involved in any electoral politics.

“However, as a community, we will choose a party or a candidate who believes in secularism and respects the provisions of the Constitution of India. We support the party that protects the minority communities. Therefore, you cannot expect that a Christian will vote or elect a person who belongs to a party that stands against the Constitution of India and is not secular,” he said.

The Rising People’s Party (RPP) in Nagaland criticised the Assam Chief Minister for “consistently berating Christians” and attributing the NDA’s loss to the community. “The voters, regardless of their religion, are intelligent enough to choose their preferred candidate or party,” it said in a statement.

S. Supongmeren Jamir of Congress upset NDPP’s Chumben Murry to win the lone Nagaland seat.

The RPP cited the example of Hindu Meiteis who voted for Congress candidate Angomcha Bimol Akoijam in the Inner Manipur constituency “due to the dissatisfaction with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s handling of the (ethnic) violence” in Manipur.

The Nagaland-based party also said undignified behaviour and coarse language do not behove the Chief Minister of any State.

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