Across the nation – in fact, across the globe – the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which rules the government at the Centre, is often called a “Hindu nationalist” party or saffron party.
But in the Northeast, the BJP has adapted to the unique cultural identity of the region which is why the party leaders do not oppose certain food habits such as eating of beef by the people of this region.
Queerly in Mizoram, the BJP has recently been identified variously by various political leaders. After coming to power in the Chakma Autonomous District Council, ruled by the majority Buddhist Chakmas, in southern Mizoram with the help of the Congress, the BJP leaders signalled the rise of the party in the state.
The unholy alliance between the BJP and the Congress to rule the CADC was questioned universally by the critics.
Yet, last week, the Mizoram Chief Minister and state congress president, Lal Thanhawla reportedly defended the alliance saying that “Buddhist (Chakmas) BJP are less harmful than the radical Hindu BJP”.
The BJP which is fighting a tough perception battle about the party being a radical Hindu party, took the opportunity on Friday to appear more appealling to the Mizos who are largely Christians.
Reacting to the CM’s comments, BJP state president J V Hluna said, “The chief minister said the Buddhist BJP are less harmful. If it is so, the Christian (Mizo) BJP would be even less harmful.”
Parties and their leaders often invoke God’s will to appeal to the voters in this Christian-dominated state.
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