Rift in DAN, BJP demands apology of NPF

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Kohima, May 31: The Nagaland unit of the BJP has objected to the Nagaland Peoples Front (NPF) terming the BJP as a ''Hindu party'' and asked the NPF to clarify their stand and apologise for their remarks.

The NPF is the major alliance partner of the ruling Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN) of which the BJP is a coalition partner.

In a statement issued here today, BJP National Council Member Johny G Rengma expressed strong resentment over the reported comment of NPF Secretary General Chubatemjen Ao, who, in an interview recently, dubbed the BJP as a ''Hindu party''.

''The BJP, being a national party, is not interested in the internal affairs and programme of the NPF, which is a regional party. However, the NPF has been painting the BJP in communal colours. The NPF's contention that the BJP's secular ideological foundation is highly questionable is an irresponsible and divisive step,''the statement said.

''The BJP is not in the DAN coalition on any compulsion and therefore, the NPF should maintain the Lakshman Rekha in the best interest of the coalition,'' it added.

He said in the interest of the DAN coalition, the NPF should clarify their stand and apologise to the nation for branding the BJP as a Hindu party.

In a separate statement, Nagaland BJP Spokespersons Basu Damani and T L Merry said the NPF Secretary General's remarks would certainly be kept in consideration by the central leadership of BJP and the NDA alliance.

''This has been the first instance in the history of six years of the DAN alliance that the BJP has come to know that interest of the NPF lay with the CPI(M),'' the statement said.

They said the decision of any political party to adopt any ideology was an independent choice, but to ''pass derogatory comments or demeaning the values by a political party leader against his own alliance partners was absolutely unfortunate.''

UNI

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