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India's northeastern states neglected: China

China feels that India has not only neglected its northeastern states but the unrest and insurgencies in the region geographically close to the disputed border are fuelled by New Delhi’s continuous apathy toward the region.

india Updated: Apr 07, 2014 21:03 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis

China feels that India has not only neglected its northeastern states but the unrest and insurgencies in the region geographically close to the disputed border are fuelled by New Delhi’s continuous apathy toward the region.

The comments came within hours of India beginning to vote for the 2014 elections, a process of democratic choice not yet allowed by the all-powerful and dictatorial Communist Party of China (CPC), ruling the country since 1949.

Commenting on the first phase of the Indian general elections, Beijing said: "India’s northeastern states isolated, neglected", in a commentary published in the official news agency, Xinhua.

More than 814 million are eligible to vote in the nine-phase election that started in the states of Assam and Tripura, a part of India close to China’s border.

China, a country of more than 1.3 billion people – a country with more people than India -- with different languages and ethnicity, does not have an equivalent process. It does have a rubber-stamp parliament and a coterie of powerful individuals but the process behind their rise to power remains opaque.

"Experts say that isolation and years of neglect by the Indian government have fueled underdevelopment, occasional tribal unrest and insurgency in the region, thus hampering the overall growth of the northeastern states," the Xinhua commentary said.

It added: "During every election, all the major political parties -- the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) -- assure development of the region, plagued by unemployment and rampant corruption, but only time will tell whether the people trust the national parties anymore."

China is expected to be more sensitive as the dates come near elections in Arunachal Pradesh, many parts of which Beijing claims to be "South Tibet".

Beijing hollered diplomatic protests when President Pranab Mukherjee visited the state last year.

But some among its leading scholars following India have been reticent about reacting to BJP’s prime ministerial hopeful Narendra Modi’s nationalist speech about Sino-India relations.

"Opinion polls have suggested that the BJP is likely to get the maximum number of seats and likely to form the next government in India while the Congress is facing its worst-ever defeat due to its alleged involvement in a number of corruption scandals and inability to control inflation," the Xinhua piece said.