A total of 17 leaders of Mizoram BJP quit the saffron party on Thursday.
The leaders who have quit the BJP include an ex-Mizoram BJP president and current president of the Aizawl District Mahila BJP.
They accused the Modi-led BJP government of fascism.
Citing the appointment of a Chakma candidate for the upcoming general elections as one of the main reasons of quitting the party, ex-president of Aizawl District BJP K Lalrimawia said, “We need an indigenous representative who can speak on behalf of the majority of the Mizo people.”
“BJP candidate Nihar Kanti Chakma, who is from the minority Chakma community, is not an indigenous person. We need a Mizo to represent the Mizos,” he said.
The Mizoram BJP Election Management Committee which held a meeting on March 16, 2019 had suggested Ramtiama of Mission Veng as an eligible candidate, however, the leaders at the Centre decided otherwise, resulting in opposition from its party members in the State.
Strongly accusing the BJP government of fascism, the State BJP representatives said they are given no room to speak in the executive meetings and are forcibly made to carry out the orders of the central leaders.
“When I was president of Mizoram Aizawl District BJP, I was only given a total of two minutes to report on the events and updates in the area. We had no voice, we were only made to follow commands,” said K Lalrimawia.
“BJP is facing trouble in every State. This is because the party practises fascism rather than democracy,” he said.
They also pointed out the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill as a reason to leave the party saying the “Bill is against the Constitution of India and the Citizenship Act 1950 & 1955 Amendment.
“It is a practice of religious favouritism,” said Lalrozara, ex-media chairman, Mizoram BJP.
The 17 leaders, who said they are the forerunners, alleged that there are many more State party members who are planning to quit.
“Around 5000-6000 of our dedicated followers are quitting the party along with us, but in the coming future, the numbers leaving the party will be around 10,000,” they said.
“We want to invite BJP members of all the units to quit the Modi-led party,” they said.
“We have made repeated appeals to seek for the development of Northeast tribals but in the 40 constituencies in Mizoram, they only focus on the constituency of the minorities,” they said.
They accused the BJP government of failing in the areas of economics, defence and security.
Out of the 17 leaders who quit the party, 4 were candidates in the 2018 Assembly elections.