Ram Madhav visits Nagaland to contain dissent in BJP's state unit; Amit Shah to follow suit in August

A week after more than a hundred office-bearers and workers of the Nagaland unit of BJP took to the streets demanding the ouster of state chief Visasolie Lhongou, BJP national general secretary and in-charge of the North East region, Ram Madhav, visited the state to pacify the dissident groups on Wednesday. The national leader met the dissident groups and asked them to be patient assuring that "action will be taken in due course".

Ram Madhav’s visit to Nagaland to pacify dissent in BJP's Nagaland comes months before the Assembly election, scheduled to be held early next year.

Significantly though, the recent govt notification that restricts the sale of cattle for slaughter has caused much debate in the state units of the saffron party in the North East region. But the BJP unit in the Christian state Nagaland saw a different political discourse where several leaders and workers agitated against party's state chief Visasolie Lhongou for his alleged anti-party activities.

File image of Ram Madhav. CNN-News18

File image of Ram Madhav. CNN-News18

Informing the details of the meeting, a source in the Nagaland BJP, who chose to remain anonymous, told Firstpost that Ram Madhav sat in meetings with office-bearers, dissident group and MLAs separately, where he was briefed about the recent imbroglio faced by the party in the state.

“Ram Madhav assured that everything will be sorted out by August this year,” the source said, adding that BJP president Amit Shah is likely to visit Nagaland in August.

Speaking with Firstpost, IK Sema, a leader in the dissident group said, "He advised us to have patience. He also said that the party will decide on our grievances in due course."

“We hope that we will come to know of the final outcome of the meeting in time. We are waiting for that," he added.

When asked whether he will continue to work for BJP, Sema said, "We are BJP and we will work for the party. Disagreements occur in a family too."

Sema, an adviser of Nagaland BJP, was suspended with two others after a demonstration against the state president of the party on 31 May. Sema had alleged the state president (Lhongou) was working in favour of the ruling Naga People’s Front rather than BJP.

But Sema said that nothing was known to them whether the national general secretary had issued any order to revoke the suspension of the office bearers.

"If any such order was issued, it will be known only to Lhongou. We are waiting eagerly for a decision from our leaders," he added.

Sources in BJP's Nagaland unit told Firstpost that Wednesday’s meeting was seen as a moral victory for the dissident groups.

"They are happy. It is because of their demonstration and the demand for the ouster of Lhongou that the national general secretary paid his second official visit to Nagaland. It is a sort of moral victory to them," a source said.

Firstpost tried to contact Lhongou more than once, but he did not respond.

Dissidence in the Nagaland unit of BJP came to the forefront on 31 May when more than a hundred leaders and workers of the state unit demonstrated demanding the ouster of Lhongou. The agitating party members alleged that the state president is sabotaging the party to politically benefit the ruling Naga People’s Front.

NPF, that has been in power in Nagaland for the last three consecutive terms is an old ally of NDA. The saffron party with only four MLAs in the state, has a share of power in Nagaland by dint of this alliance, which makes central leadership soft to the NPF.

A press release signed by IK Sema had alleged that on August 2016, the state president had leaked a document of decisions made by the BJP leadership in Nagaland to the then chief minister, who is an NPF leader.

The release also alleged the state chief of dictatorial functioning. It said that he dropped six office bearers of the party without any consultation with the advisers, senior colleagues or legislators.

Lhongou had been dismissing all the allegations claiming, that the state BJP had been functioning as per the directives of the central leadership.

Updated Date: Jun 08, 2017 23:02 PM

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