Guwahati: Mizoram BJP vice-president R. Vanramchhuanga resigned Thursday in protest against what he called the central government’s indifference towards the Christian community in the ongoing ethnic conflict between the Kuki-Zomi tribals and the non-tribal Meiteis in neighbouring Manipur.
In his resignation letter, submitted to Mizoram BJP chief Vanlalhmuaka, Vanramchhuanga said he was deeply hurt by the “anti-Christian activities” in Manipur, stating that “357 Christian churches, pastor quarters and office buildings belonging to different churches have been, so far, burnt to ashes by Meitei militants”.
ThePrint has accessed the letter.
Speaking to ThePrint, he said: “The most irresponsible people behind this conflict are Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh and Union Home Minister Amit Shah. They failed to protect the victims, the Christians.”
“Shah had himself gone to (Manipur capital) Imphal and stayed for three days and two nights, but during his arrival, and even after he left, the burning and violence continues,” he added.
“The leaders of our country have not said anything to condemn this violence or comfort and console the victims,” he said. “They have been silent till now”.
“I never believed (this) earlier but now I am convinced the BJP is an anti-Christian party,” he added. “And it is my moral duty to leave the party as well as my designation.”
In his letter, too, he said, “I do believe that massive demolition of Christian churches in Manipur was supported by the state and central authorities”. His resignation, he added, was a protest against this “act of criminal injustice”.
According to the 2011 Census, Christians constitute 41.29 percent of the population of Manipur and make up 87 percent of the population in Mizoram.
On the BJP’s prospects in poll-bound Mizoram, Vanramchhuanga, a church elder at the local Presbyterian Church, said the Manipur conflict would impact the state elections, slated for later this year.
“If the violence had not happened, the BJP would have won at least five-seven seats [out of 40] here, but now it will not get even a single seat,” he told ThePrint.
(Edited by Nida Fatima Siddiqui)