BJP Vice-President Quits Over Inaction on Christian Church Burnings in Manipur

Correspondent Correspondent
Friday, July 14, 2023
BJP Vice-President Quits Over Inaction on Christian Church Burnings in Manipur
BJP Leader Resigns in Protest Against Violence on Christians in Manipur.
Manipur, July 14, 2023: R. Vanramchhuanga, a prominent member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Mizoram, has stepped down from his position as Vice-President, citing the neglectful attitude of Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh and Union Home Minister Amit Shah towards the Christian community in the violence-stricken state. Vanramchhuanga submitted his resignation letter to the Mizoram state BJP President, Vanlalhmuaka, on Thursday.

In his resignation letter, Vanramchhuanga expressed deep concern about the recent outbreak of ethnic conflict in Manipur. He highlighted the alarming number of Christian churches, pastor quarters, and office buildings that were targeted and set on fire by Meitel militants. Vanramchhuanga criticized both Chief Minister N. Biren Singh and Union Home Minister Amit Shah for their failure to effectively address these incidents. He also pointed out the lack of condemnation from the Central government regarding the burning of Christian churches. Feeling that the state and Central authorities were not taking a strong stance against the destruction of Christian institutions, he decided to resign from his position as Vice-President of the BJP Mizoram Pradesh to protest against the injustices faced by Christians and their religious practices.

When contacted by IANS, Vanramchhuanga disclosed that he had received offers from Congress and Zoram People's Movement (ZPM) leaders to join their parties. However, he stated that he was still contemplating his future course of action. Vanramchhuanga expressed his inability to continue holding a significant position within the BJP or even remain a primary member of a party that seemed to endorse attacks against Christians and their places of worship.

The ongoing ethnic conflict in Manipur and the perceived failure of the BJP to address the crisis may have implications for the upcoming Assembly elections in Mizoram, which are scheduled to take place later this year. Vanramchhuanga believes that the BJP's prospects in Mizoram have been severely affected by the Manipur conflict, despite the party's previous success in local body and tribal autonomous council elections. His resignation marks the first instance of a BJP leader leaving the party in protest against the violence in Manipur, which was triggered by a tribal organization opposing the recognition of the Meitei community as a Scheduled Tribe. The ongoing violence has resulted in numerous casualties and injuries.

In response to the violence, a protest rally was organized in Aizawl, drawing participants from various communities. The rally, led by the ZO Reunification Organisation (ZORO), demanded an immediate end to the violence and the establishment of a separate state for the tribals in Manipur. R. Sangkawia, President of ZORO, strongly condemned the attacks on the Zo ethnic people in Manipur and criticized Prime Minister Narendra Modi for remaining silent on the matter despite over two months of continuous violence.