Amidst the growing resentment against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national spokesperson Nupur Sharma’s alleged discriminatory remarks on Prophet Muhammad, the saffron party’s national leader, Prateek Edwin Sharma, who is in Aizawl, was in a firefighting mode assuring the people that under the BJP government Christians in the state will continue to enjoy religious freedom.
“Christians hold important posts, including Union Cabinet posts, under the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government. That shows the BJP respects all religions. I would like to assure the people of Mizoram to remember that the Christian community in India will continue to enjoy religious freedom. Don’t ever think that the Modi government will go beyond the Constitution of India,” Sharma said, during an event at the state BJP office, on June 9.
Sharma, a National Minority Morcha’s executive member from Bihar, said that the Centre never discriminated anyone in terms of religion and the greatest testimony to that is the evacuation of the citizens from war-torn Ukraine.
“The Modi government treats all citizens as one, whether they are Muslims, Hindus or Christians. There was no discrimination on religious lines when stranded Indians were brought home. Every Indian was evacuated from the war-torn Ukraine without any discrimination on the basis of religion,” ,” he said.
Playing the party’s developmental card to appease the growing resentment against the party’s national spokespersons remark, Sarma said that all the BJP-ruled states in the Northeast witnessing exceptional growth.
“As I travelled across the Northeastern states, I witnessed that tremendous development has taken place in the BJP-ruled states. I, being a Christian, urge all my fellow Christians in Mizoram to join BJP in order to bring in development on a par with other states of the region,” he stated.
Sharma, who is in-charge of Mizoram, also distributed pamphlets on the achievements of the Modi government in the past eight years.
According to state BJP president Vanlalhmuaka, the party, which currently has one legislator in the 40-member state assembly, is hopeful of winning more seats in the next assembly elections due for 2023 year-end.
“There have been a lot of misconceptions about the BJP as some people see it as anti-Christian party. We have been trying hard to let that misconception go. We are showing the people the benefits of PM Modi’s schemes, and the development in eight years. People are beginning to be convinced that the party means progress,” Vanlalhmuaka said.
According to him, the BJP has a significant base in as many as 16 of the state’s 40 seats. “We may not have majority seats, but without us, there will be no government,” Vanlalhmuaka claimed, confidently.
Mizoram, a Christian majority state, has never had a BJP government or had a government with the BJP in alliance, unlike the other six states in the Northeast.
BJP’s confidence was boosted after it emerged as the single largest party for the first time in Mizoram in the elections to Lai Autonomous District Council (LADC) last month. However, the BJP failed to get the magic number, 13, following which the ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) joined hands with the Congress to finally form the new executive body.