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Nagaland’s LS poll: Chumben Murry questions NBCC’s involvement in politics

Dr Chumben Murry

The PDA’s consensus candidate for Nagaland’s LS seat said it was evident that the NBCC and the Congress have wittingly or unwittingly connived to mislead the electorate into voting for Congress party on religion ground

By Imna Longchar, TFM Nagaland Correspondent

Underlining that the election process for the 18th  Lok Sabha is over and that in a matter of hours, people will know who has the mandate to represent the lone Nagaland parliamentary seat, Nagaland’s former agriculture minister under the NPF government and now the consensus candidate of the PDA and the Nationalist Democratic  Progressive Party (NDPP) on Monday has put a question to the Nagaland Baptist Church Association (NBCC) on their credibility and whether they are mandated to represent or involve in politics.

As the counting to the 18th Lok Sabha elections in the state would be held on Tuesday (June 4), Dr Murry as per his personal views and perspective pointed out that issues related to the campaign trails would linger while some issues needed to be discussed and understood.

This he said is on the basis of the recent “religion card” allegedly being played by the Congress in the state and the NBCC.

While appreciating the call for clean election movement made by Nagaland Baptist Churches’ Council (NBCC), the Clean Election Movement Convener, Dr Valli Naleo’s article titled “Survival of democracy is at stake” as appeared in some local dailies on April 11 this year seems to be politically inclined and accordingly the recently conducted Lok Sabha election was more or less a “political tussle” including an “ideological clash” for the survival of democracy in India.

Mentioning that the very particular statement made by Rahul Gandhi was a “parroting” which obviously the NBCC had taken a political stand alongside the Congress to safeguard democracy rather than being “promoter” of clean election movement in safeguarding Faith and following what is right, Dr Chumben Murry went on to add that this being on the notion that BJP is anti-Christian and communal and conversely sees Congress as secular Party, thus, NBCC has attempted to dissuade people from voting for NDPP on religion ground.

Adding that NDPP in the eyes of NBCC is seen “anti-Christian” just because it is in alliance with BJP, Dr Naleo also said that, PDA government in the state is in “confusion” vis-à-vis BJP’s honeymoon with Nagas.

Stating that it is for the court to prove or disprove the allegation, he added that at a time when NBCC is vehemently against lifting of prohibition of liquor, does not want to comment on the matter as he flet that this move is another pointer to NBCC involving in politics.

Also mentioning that a letter dated March 28, 2024 written by Nagaland Congress candidate to Ao community influencing and coercing them not to vote for BJP party as it is in the process of converting all into Hindus with Hindutva agenda, Dr Chumben Murry said that it was evident that the NBCC and the Congress have wittingly or unwittingly connived to mislead the electorate into voting for Congress party on religion ground.

In this regard, he said that it was surprising that Chief Election Office (CEO) pulled up Congress candidate and cautioned him for violating the Model Code of Conduct under Sub-Section 3 of Section 133 of the Representation of People Act, 1951, i.e. appealing by a candidate to vote on the ground of his religion which is a corrupt practice as per the Act.

The letter written by the President of NPCC as well as that of the order of CEO Nagaland to the congress president are available in public domain.

On the same analogy, one must also understand that the stand of NBCC dissuading people to vote against a particular political party on the ground of religion is a violation of election rules and in no way a call that can be considered clean election move, he maintained.

If NBCC so wants, it should remember the geo-political history and the “ins and outs” of politics to take on politics otherwise; it is entering into a dangerous game of animosity and confrontation, Dr Chumben Murry added.

“Even today, the move by NBCC will serve to instil hatred in gullible Nagas towards Hindus and this is not good. Whether we like or not, by fluke of history and insensitiveness of power that be at the relevant point of time, we ended up living in a Hindu dominated country. More than 80% of Indian population are Hindus as compared to a meagre 2.3% Christians,” Dr Chumben said.

In Naga context, he said if the Nagas believe that Hindu culture could be imposed upon them, the strength, the Nagas are not a “meek race” while one need to understand that and remember that that the Constitution of India is the most exhaustive constitutions of all and safeguards our choice of religion and of worship.

Over and above, he said that the very first Clause of Article 371(A) pertaining to the State of Nagaland, gives protection from application of any Parliament Laws on our Social and Religious ways of our lives unless the Assembly so decides by resolution for which the

Legislative Assembly is empowered to protect the provisions the Article.

This is one of the importance of having a regional party ruling the State. Article 371(A) was bought through years of struggle, sufferings and bloodshed.

Therefore, it is sacred Article insinuated into the constitution of India through negotiation and is the essence of Nagaland being part of Indian Union. Therefore, it cannot be scrapped.

It was also said to remember whose regime started the treaded Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) was in 1958 mentioning that it was the present dispensation of BJP led NDA Government which is by and by lifting AFSPA listening to the voice of the people.

He later called on for a “movement” for clean election by NBCC but has to be a movement without indulging in politics.

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