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Immersion of Vajpayee ashes: BJP criticised for imposing ‘alien culture’ on Nagaland

 The urns containing ash of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee at the BJP headquarters in New Delhi on August 22, 2018 before their distribution to BJP State presidents.

The urns containing ash of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee at the BJP headquarters in New Delhi on August 22, 2018 before their distribution to BJP State presidents.

The Nagaland unit of the BJP, facing criticism for imposing an “alien” culture on a Christian-majority State, has decided to immerse the ashes of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in Doyang river on Monday.

The decision was taken at a party meeting on Saturday.

“We are not following any rituals. We are just paying our respects to the departed leader,” Nagaland BJP president Temjen Imna A. Longkumer said.

An insult, says Congress

The Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC) had, on Friday, said the immersion of Vajpayee’s ashes in a river in the State was an insult to “our way of life”, as well as to the memory of the former Prime Minister.

In a statement, the NPCC said the BJP and its Nagaland unit had turned the immersion of ashes into a “circus” for petty political gains.

 

“Having consigned Vajpayee into political oblivion after the 2004 election defeat and rendering his political thoughts and actions irrelevant through divisive agenda and hate politics, the BJP’s sudden affection for the former PM after his demise is just a ploy to extract some cheap political mileage,” it said. “Nagaland BJP leaders displaying their eagerness to please their communal masters by following and observing rituals that are alien to our way of life is an insult to all right-thinking Nagas.”

Reacting to this, Mr. Longkumer said, “The Congress is doing its job, we are doing our duty.”

He had brought an urn containing Vajpayee’s ashes from New Delhi on Thursday.


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Printable version | May 17, 2022 1:38:39 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/immersion-of-vajpayee-ashes-bjp-criticised-for-imposing-alien-culture-on-nagaland/article61500304.ece