Prime Minister Narendra Modi said here on Friday that the Congress leadership had been spreading canards about a “cultural invasion” in the northeast if the BJP came to power in the States in the region.
Addressing a BJP meeting at Lunglei, about 175 km south of here, he accused the Congress of belittling and abusing indigenous cultures of the northeast.
Without naming Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who, during his election rally, had said the BJP and the RSS were trying to make inroads into Christian-majority Mizoram to impose their ideology, Mr. Modi said the Congress indulged in the culture of “divide-and-rule” while the BJP believed in the culture of development.
“The Congress has this habit of creating a fear psychosis. I feel a deep sense of anguish when I see the leaders of the Congress abuse your traditions. When I wear various local dresses gifted across the northeast, they call it outlandish, poor and strange. This is the real face of the Congress leaders. It is proof they give no value to your thoughts, hopes and aspirations. The Congress is only interested in power,” he said.
At a meeting at Champhai on Tuesday, Mr. Gandhi said the agenda of the BJP-RSS would adversely affect the culture of the Mizos. Allaying such fears, Mr. Modi said the BJP government believed in inclusive growth, and would ensure that the rights of the Mizo people as enshrined in the Constitution were protected.
He said the Congress’s divisive policy was the reason people across the country had rejected it. “There was a time when the Congress ruled in most States. Today, it is left with only two or three States,” he said, asking the voters of Mizoram to oust the Congress from the State.
Mr. Modi said the CAG had exposed the “corrupt” Congress government in Mizoram for mishandling huge sums of money in the name of the New Land Use Policy. “The CAG exposed how funds of the NLUP have been misused. The Congress government has distributed government funds to a few individuals in the name of implementing the New Economic Development Programme. The Congress has only made some party leaders rich in the name of eradicating poverty in Mizoram.”
Mr. Modi spoke on the sports potential of Mizoram, and said the State, along with other north-eastern States, had been contributing towards India becoming a global sporting power.