BJP can damage 'soul, spirit and body' of Christians in Mizoram: Congress
The ruling Congress in Mizoram Wednesday urged people of the Christian-dominated state to support the party in the assembly election next month, alleging that the entry of BJP might hurt their religious freedom.
Countering the charge, the BJP said it was a propaganda of the Congress to tarnish the image of the party.
"The Congress should win with a comfortable margin as a fractured mandate would pave way for the BJP to go for a post-poll alliance with the Mizo National Front (MNF)," state Congress spokesperson Lallianchhunga said.
"The BJP can cause damage to the soul, spirit and body of the Christians in Mizoram," Lallianchhunga, also the party's media cell chairperson said in a statement.
People should support the Congress, church leaders and civil societies in protecting the state from such dangers and for protecting religious freedom, he said.
Mizoram is the only state in the northeastern region under the Congress which is in power since 2008.
The election to the 40-member state assembly will be held on November 28.
Rev L R Colney, one of the two Christian priests to contest the polls on a BJP ticket, said the party was not a religious group but a political party.
Branding the BJP as "anti-Christian" and "pro-Hindu" was
baseless as it has never been proved, he said, adding that it
is a propaganda of the Congress to tarnish its image.
Persecution of Christians has occurred in many places during the regimes of the Congress, Janata Dal and the BJP, Colney said.
In a recent news report, Tripura BJP general secretary
Pratima Bhowmik had indicated that in a fractured post-poll
scenario, the opposition MNF might form a coalition with the BJP to form a government in Mizoram.
The MNF, however, has maintained that it would not form an alliance with the BJP or any other party in the upcoming election.
"The MNF leadership cannot afford to be seen as being close to the saffron party as the BJP has been a political pariah in the state," Lallianchhunga said.
But the post-poll scenario could be different as the MNF would not hesitate to overrule public opinion after the poll process, he claimed.
MNF vice-president R Lalthangliana said, "We will contest the elections alone and do not need the help of other parties. We will win".
State BJP president Prof John V Hluna told PTI that the party would go it alone in the election.
Though both the MNF and the National People's Party are members of the North-East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), the BJP would be contesting against the two just like any other party, he said.
(With inputs from agencies.)