Article 371(A) Under Threat, Says Congress Leader Jairam Ramesh - Eastern Mirror
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Article 371(A) under threat, says Congress leader Jairam Ramesh

By Purnungba Longkumer Updated: Apr 09, 2024 11:27 pm
Jairam Ramesh
Jairam Ramesh (middle) and Mathew Antony (3rd from right) along with Ranajit Mukherjee (3rd from left) and members from NPCC during the press conference on Tuesday.

DIMAPUR — Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said that Article 371 (A) of the Constitution, which grants special provisions to Nagaland, is under threat under the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government.

Referring to the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir in 2019, Ramesh claimed that the next target is Article 371 (A), particularly clause 4 which states that the parliament of India will not have jurisdiction over the ownership and transfer of land and its resources.

Addressing a press conference in Dimapur on Tuesday, the former union minister and All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary of communications claimed that other constitutional provisions including Article 371 (B) for Assam, Article 371 (C) for Manipur, Article 371 (F) for Sikkim, Article 371 (G) for Mizoram and Article 371 (H) for Arunachal Pradesh, face threat under the present dispensation.

Ramesh also noted that the Framework Agreement, which was signed between the NSCN (IM) and the government of India in 2015 after nearly 25 years of negotiations, remains ‘undisclosed’ despite the passage of nine years.

“There is no solution but only confusion,” he said, adding that the Centre has fooled the people of Nagaland.

Further, he said the 2024 election is a ‘battle between unity and uniformity’ where the BJP is trying to impose ‘artificial uniformity’ and advocating for concepts like ‘one nation, on election,’ ‘one nation, one tax,’ with the ultimate goal of imposing uniform language, religion and culture across the nation.

In contrast, the Congress is trying to bolster unity by embracing and celebrating diversity, he maintained.

Ramesh went on to highlight the unemployment status in the country, stating that the prime minister has failed to fulfil his promise of creating 2 crore jobs every year. He said the PM does not talk about price rise and economic inequality but only talks about polarising the society on the basis of religion.

Further stating that the Congress is fighting the election to preserve democracy, he took a jibe at the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) which has fielded Dr. Chumben Murry for the state’s lone parliamentary seat.

“The NDPP is not a political party; it is a BJP washing machine,” he said, adding that the party appears to be a ‘hotchpotch’ of opportunists who need protection from agencies like the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Income Tax department.

Claiming that all the political parties in Nagaland are now part of the NDPP, he asserted, “we cannot have one party democracy”. The only party keeping democracy alive in Nagaland, in the north-east, and the rest of the country, is the Indian National Congress, he stated.

When asked about the Frontier Nagaland Territory issue, Ramesh refrained from making specific comments but said all regions of the state must see development.

Congress believes that the political aspiration of the people of Nagaland must be fulfilled and Article 371 A is a reflection of the commitment made as part of the Constitution of India, he said.

Maintaining that the people in different parts of Nagaland and people in any state of the country must have a voice in governance, he said imbalances in development must be appropriately addressed.

On the suspension of Free Movement Regime and the decision to fence the Indo-Myanmar border by the Centre, he said it was a direct result of the conflict in Manipur. He went on to say that the chief minister of Nagaland should have an answer on why he could not convince the Centre to revoke its decision, as he closely associated with the central government.

Other Congress leaders including AICC Secretary in-charge of Nagaland, Ranajit Mukherjee; INC Spokesperson and Media Coordinator for NER, Mathew Antony; and members of Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee were present at the press conference.

By Purnungba Longkumer Updated: Apr 09, 2024 11:27:38 pm
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