BJP invites anti-Congress parties to join hands for Assy polls

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Aizawl, Oct 22 (UNI) The BJP's Mizoram unit has invited all political parties, opposed to the Congress, to join hands ahead of the state Assembly polls scheduled next year.

Speaking at a press conference here yesterday,North East BJP in-charge P Chandrashekhar said, ''We are ready to offer all help in this regardeven at the national level.'' He said the BJP would begin a programme shortly to contact all such parties and bring about an understanding to provide the necessary coordination and cordial atmosphere to facilitate discussions.

The party was sad to note the ''egotistic nature'' of ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) president and Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga, Mr Chandrashekhar said.

''Our former NDA ally is not granting us even one appointment to discuss matters of mutual interest, including issues regarding the rapid economic development of Mizoram,'' he said.

''The MNF must realise the importance of the BJP instead of underestimating its strength,'' he warned.

Alleging that communal harmony had been severely affected under the present Zoramthanga-led MNF government the BJP leader said, ''The MNF must realise that unity in diversity is the need of the hour. The numerous communities residing in Mizoram need to be integrated socially and economically if the state has to take bigger strides towards development and prosperity. It is our humble request to the ruling party to immediately initiate a social coordination committee, comprising elders of all communities for ensuring social harmony.'' He also alleged that the state government had neglected the legitimate rights and aspirations of the minority communities, including the Gorkhas, residing in Mizoram for over a century, and the Hmar community, he added.

''The BJP demands that the state government initiate steps to accord the Gorkha community Scheduled Tribe status before the polls. We further demand that the aspirations of the Hmars be fulfilled and measures taken in the 2008-09 state budget to ensure genuine development for the Hmars,'' Mr Chandrashekhar said.

The BJP also urged for extra efforts to promote the Mizo social customs, including its traditional festivals.

''Mizo culture needs to be given more emphasis not only through Mizo language textbooks but also through books in other languages.

As the youth has been increasingly adopting Western cultural trends, it is essential to make them aware of their roots. The state government should propagate publications as well as audio and video CDs on the great heroes of Mizo society for wider exposure of the Mizo culture,'' the BJP leader emphasised.

He stated that economic reforms at the national level had liberated the Indian society from its earlier alienation from the global community and made the Mizos both progressive in their outlook and introspective about their community's culture.

''The state government should set up foreign and Indian languages institutes to impart language skills among the Mizo youth to enable them to explore the unlimited opportunities of employment,'' Mr Chandrashekhar added.


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