Money playing big role in northeast polls: BJP

April 18th, 2009 - 5:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Agartala, April 18 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Saturday alleged that money is playing a major role in the Lok Sabha elections in the northeastern states, dwarfing all other poll issues.
“Crores of rupees are being distributed by different political parties to woo the voters in most parts of the northeastern region,” BJP’s national executive member and the party’s official in charge of elections in the region Harendra Pratap Singh said.

“Compared to other parts of the country, the conduct of elections in northeast is a very costly affairs,” Singh told reporters.

Out of 25 parliamentary constituencies in northeast India, the BJP has fielded candidates for eight seats in Assam, two each in Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur and one seat in Sikkim. In the remaining 10 constituencies the party is supporting the Asom Gana Parishad.

In the 2004 elections, the BJP had won two seats each in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.

“It is now known to everybody that Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi had taken Rs.21 crore (Rs.210 million) from the tea lobby in Kolkata. The BJP has already lodged a complaint in this regard with the Election Commission,” the BJP leader said.

Singh also referred to the BJP’s demand to form a Northeast Security Council (NSC) to tackle the region’s twin challenges of terrorism and infiltration.

“It should be formed in line with the National Security Council to effectively tackle insurgency and infiltration from across the border,” he said.

“The proposed NSC can be formed comprising security experts and analysts from the central and state armed forces, state and central intelligence officials, who are familiar with the numerous problems of the region,” he stated.

“Formation of the NSC would get top priority and it will be constituted within 100 days, if the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) comes to power at the centre.”

The BJP leader also demanded fencing of India’s border with Myanmar and China.

“The region’s militants have been using Bangladesh, Bhutan and Myanmar soil for training and shelter, while getting arms from China,” Singh said.

According to him, there are more than 10 million illegal Bangladeshi nationals in the northeast region, especially in Assam.

“Illegal migration, security and unemployment problems and lack of development are the main election issues of BJP in the northeast,” Singh said.

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