Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Monday broke his silence two days after the election results for Tripura, Nagaland and Meghalaya were announced. Gandhi, who had left for Italy to meet his grandmother just before the counting began, took to Twitter to say that the Congress ‘respects the mandate of the people’ of the three states.
He wrote, “The Congress party respects the mandate of the people of Tripura, Nagaland and Meghalaya. We are committed to strengthening our party across the North East and to winning back the trust of the people. My sincere thanks to each and every Congress worker who toiled for the party.”
The Congress party respects the mandate of the people of Tripura, Nagaland and Meghalaya.
We are committed to strengthening our party across the North East and to winning back the trust of the people.
My sincere thanks to each and every Congress worker who toiled for the party.
— Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) March 5, 2018
This was also the first tweet by Gandhi, who was last seen active on Twitter on 1 March just before he left for Italy. His tweet on 1 March had read, “My Nani is 93. She’s the kindest soul ever. This Holi weekend, I’m going to surprise her! I can’t wait to give her a hug…. #HappyHoli to all of you. Have a joyful celebration..(sic)”
Gandhi was widely criticised for not being present to boost the morale of his party’s workers in India on the day of the election results. In Tripura, the BJP had increased vote share from 1.5% five years ago to 43% in this year’s elections bagging 35 seats on its own, while its ally Indigenousn People’s Front Of Tripura won eight seats.
Contrary to Gandhi’s stand, the party’s chief spokesperson, Randeep Surjewala, however, raised questions on the way the BJP was carrying out its expansion in the north-eastern states.
In a series of tweets, Surjewala wrote, “Our best wishes to people of Tripura,Nagaland & Meghalaya. We sincerely pray & hope that peace, progress, cohabitation & development will be the agendas pursued by new governments. We also hope that people’s issues, particularly youth, would be addressed as first priority. Every Indian is concerned that assumption of power ‘at any cost’ & ‘ by any means’ by BJP isn’t blinding it into destabilising the entire North Eastern region.
“Tell tale signs of BJP’s blind quest for power superseding the stability of region, propagation of democracy, nipping the sepratist tendencies & ignoring core issues of region are already visible. In Tripura, BJP aligned with IPFT, whose election plank is division of State & now demands a tribal CM. Time for Modi Govt/ BJP to address both issues. Does it stand for demand for division of State of Tripura? Would it reject the demand for a tribal CM?
He added, “In Nagaland, BJP is in Govt with NPF yet fought election in alliance with its Oppo party NDPP. NPF won 26 seats & NDPP won 18 seats. With both NPF & NDPP staking claim to form the Govt, Is Nagaland headed for another round of instability like in last 5 yrs? And Naga Accord? In Manipur, BJP’s coalition survives with support of 3 NPF MLA’s. Would formation of a Govt in Nagaland by BJP with NDPP(18 MLA’s) ignoring the NPF(26 MLA’s), only in the effort of a larger share of pie of power, not put the stability of Govt in Manipur under a cloud?
“In Meghalaya, as BJP assumes power with just 2 MLA’s, every discordant party that fought BJP & each other, ideologically-politically-electorally, is sewn up to form the Govt at any cost- NPP+UDP+PDF+HSDP+BJP+Ind. Is this the answer to Meghalaya’s aspirations & a stable Govt? And let’s not forget that CM candidate, Conrad Sangma & his party NPP have promised division of Meghalaya & a separate State of Garoland. Do the remaining party’s agree? Does Mr. Sangma propose to carry out the promise on becoming CM? And what is Modiji’s/BJP take on it? BJP is following a dangerous game of destabilsation,subversion & usurpation of power in North East unmindful of the stability,security, peace & progress Hope Modiji had cared to learn from Rajivji who put ‘Nation First’ & brought peace to the region by Assam & Mizo accords.”