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Only Congress can protect Mizoram’s special provision: Jairam Ramesh

Aizawl: Congress leader Jairam Ramesh, who is canvassing for the party in poll-bound Mizoram, said on Friday that only national party like Congress can protect special provision under the Constitution that Mizoram and other Northeast states enjoy.

Addressing a press conference in Aizawl, the former Union minister said, “A government and a party that removed Article 370 can also remove 371G.”

Ramesh asserted that the special provision for Mizoram, Article 371 (G) was inserted in February 1987 to the Indian Constitution when Rajiv Gandhi wasthe Prime Minister as a special provision to protect the Mizo way of life. 

“It is the greatest contribution of the Indian National Congress to Mizoram that is under threat today. It is only the hand of sensitivity that understands the aspirations of the Northeast whereas the BJP is the party that wants One nation, One language; One nation, One culture; One nation, One religion; and One nation, One party is the BJP’s policy,” he said.

The seasoned Congressman additionally alleged that the BJP is functioning as a ghost party, attempting to infiltrate the state by co-opting the two major regional parties, Mizo National Front and Zoram People’s Movement.

“It is essentially a three-horse race with the MNF, INC and ZPM. There is a ghost party, the BJP. The power of the ghost over the other two parties, the ZPM and MNF is well known to everyone as they are the gateway for BJP to enter Mizoram.” 

Alleging that it is the strategy of BJP all over the Northeast to use regional parties to then grab power, Ramesh said, “They did it in Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, and now they are trying to do the same in Mizoram.” 

He further said that the MNF and the BJP are two sides of the same coin. 

Launching a direct attack on the ZPM, Ramesh said, “It is a party with no programme, no organisation, and no ideology. Their mantra is, ‘You have tried MNF, you have tried Congress. Now, try us.’ This is not the time for experimentation in Mizoram”. 

He alleged that the politics of the BJP is dividing society based on religion, ethnicity, language, and culture, and that the evidence shows that the MNF and the ZPM are remote controlled by BJP. 

Jairam Ramesh said, “A vote for the MNF, ZPM, is a vote for BJP. They are back door entry points for BJP.”

Ramesh expressed shock that in the last three years legitimate grants of the tune of Rs. 3500 crore grants that were due to the state from the Centre has not been received despite the MNF being part of the NDA. 

He said, “Because the MNF failed to get the funds from the Centre, the agriculture budget, the education budget, and the health budget has been cut. With great fanfare SEDP was launched by the MNF government. It is nothing but the State Empty Development Promises”.

Ramesh said Congress guarantees that offers a new deal for developing agriculture and horticulture in Mizoram. 

He recounted that it was the Congress party that first provided supported for growing ginger, passion fruit, oranges, anthurium and grapes. 

He said, “There is tremendous potential for horticulture in Mizoram and the Congress willaggressively take up agro processingso that income of farmers”. 

He highlighted that a Congress government will guarantee that every citizen of Mizoram will get free treatment of up to 15 lakhs of rupeesas part of their health insurance and gas cylinders at Rs. 750/- rupees. 

Jairam Ramesh added, “We have implemented guarantees in Karnataka, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh and we are serious about the implementation of guarantees. The time is right for change in Mizoram andto preserve and protect the Mizo way of life only a national party like the Congress party can ensure a vote for preserving traditions, customs, and culture of Mizoram.”

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