Newly-appointed BJP VP Chuba Ao hails P.A. Sangma’s sagacity

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Newly-appointed BJP VP Chuba Ao hails P.A. Sangma’s sagacity

“I feel humbled by the trust and faith shown in me,” says BJP’s newly-inducted Vice-President, M. Chuba Ao.
New Delhi:  “I feel humbled by the trust and faith shown in me,” says BJP’s newly-inducted Vice-President, M. Chuba Ao.

This is for the second time, he got the crucial assignment.

Interacting with a group of youth, including students from Meghalaya, Nagaland and Sikkim, virtually, he said, “I am going to surprise you. As a rival, I always criticise the Congress. But individually Late P.A. Sangma ji was a great leader.

When he became the Lok Sabha Speaker, he said, “I know I am the first tribal Speaker. I know the responsibility; if I fail, everyone will say a tribal has failed.”

Chuba Ao said, “The same situation applies to me… I am the first Naga and also first northeastern tribal leader to get this post. So, I should not fail.”

Late P.A. Sangma was a Congress veteran for many years and became the Lok Sabha Speaker in 1996.

Of course, Sangma was also part of the troika with Sharad Pawar and Tariq Anwar in 1999 quitting the Congress and forming NCP on the ground of Sonia Gandhi’s foreign origin.

Chuba is incidentally the BJP in-charge of Meghalaya where NPP leader Conrad Sangma is the Chief Minister.

Conrad is late P.A. Sangma’s son and the party NPP too was floated by the former Lok Sabha Speaker.

Fielding questions on the Manipur impasse and the roles played by the BJP both in Imphal and Delhi, Chuba Ao was critical of the Congress and other opposition parties.

“They have brought a No Confidence Motion, but they will get a befitting reply on the floor of Lok Sabha,” Chuba said, according to sources in his office.

Chuba, who hails from Nagaland, pointed out that in 1993 when there was the height of Kuki-Naga clashes, the then Union Minister of State for Home, Rajesh Pilot, spent “three hours in Imphal”.

Compared to this, he said, “Our Home Minister Amit Shah visited Manipur for three days. My colleague and MoS Home Nityanand Rai camped himself in Imphal for 20 days.”

The BJP National Vice-President also said — What an ex-chief of the Indian Army, General Naravane has stated that there could be the possibility of ‘foreign angle’ must be understood.

“I think he is a learned man. General Naravane knows our region. He served at Jakhama and Rangapahar. So, we should give due weightage to words from such experts. Naravane ji is also a man of few words,” Chuba added.

One participant from SIkkim then said, “Do you agree China could be involved… and (pauses)… Naga insurgents have in the past taken help from China?”

To this question, Chuba’s response was: “I am not competent and authorised to speak about foreign countries. This is a very sensitive issue. Our experts, diplomats and leaders in the government are examining all these and they will speak in Parliament during the debate on the No Confidence Motion.”

One female young entrepreneur from Tura in Meghalaya asked him — “Uncle Chuba, what is your mission in life as a BJP leader because your party is pro-Hindu?”

The BJP National Vice-President (Chuba) replied stating, “Firstly, as a Naga, a tribal and a Christian, I have never faced any problem from my party. So why call us pro-Hindu? We are hundred per cent pro-inclusive for all, for growth and development. The Prime Minister has said it repeatedly, we don’t do anything for Hindus or Muslims; we do and want inclusive growth of every citizen.”

“When toilets were made, roads were made and bridges came up, did they come up only for Hindus… The developmental works have been immense in Assam and also Manipur,” he said.

To another question, he said, “We have to contribute more sincerely for the cause of peace in Nagaland. As a BJP leader and as a member of Team Nadda and Team Modi I think, I should contribute my part towards bringing all stakeholders for an early solution to our very old Naga issue.”

(Nirendra Dev is a New Delhi-based journalist. He is also author of the books ‘The Talking Guns: North East India’, and ‘Modi to Moditva: An Uncensored Truth’. Views expressed are personal)

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