Beef is not an issue for us, focus is on development, says BJP leader Kiren Rijiju
Kiren Rijiju, MoS for home affairs, was the overseer of the BJP’s Nagaland chapter. In an interview on Saturday, he spoke about the BJP’s improved tally in the state.
The BJP and the Naga People’s Front (NPF) parted ways before the election, giving way to a new partnership between the BJP and the National Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP). How do you see the two regional parties now?
It’s very clear. We had a good understanding with the NPF but we couldn’t have an electoral alliance due to some seat-sharing problem. So we entered into an alliance with the NDPP.
But BJP has worked closely with NPF in the past and will likely do so in the future. How do you see the relation play out from here on?
We still share the same views on peace and development of the region.The NPF has also sent a resolution that they would like to continue the alliance with the BJP, but our partner is the NDPP and we will form the government with them.
The Centre has maintained that it will continue working towards signing the Naga peace accord. Is there a road-map to achieve this goal?
We have made it very clear, Naga solution is a priority. A road-map to the accord is already there. Development is the panacea to all the problems so we will be able to execute the projects declared by government.
Nagaland is a Christian-majority state; how did you manage to mobilise support from the state’s voters?
It is because our agenda is development, other issues are not important. They are diversionary tactics deployed by the Congress.
So can you say that election results in Nagaland show that the BJP is a party which is inclusive of all communities?
Obliviously. The BJP stands for “sabka saath, sabka vikas ”. It is the slogan of our PM. It is our mantra ,with which we are moving ahead.
In north-eastern states, especially in Nagaland, how will you navigate through controversial subjects like the beef ban?
Beef is not an issue, the Congress tried to raise it but our focus is on development.
What was the biggest challenge in Nagaland ?
To break the boycott call given by certain groups.
What are your major takeaways from the elections?
The Naga people have reposed faith in BJP. We won’t disappoint them. In Tripura, our victory is historic, as the Left Front had ruled there for over two decades and in Meghalaya, Congress will be voted out. Congress will not come back to power that itself is a victory. So overall, the elections results are very positive.