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Review demand not aimed at creating division: VPP

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SHILLONG, June 13: The Voice of the People Party (VPP) on Thursday said it did not raise the demand for a review of the state reservation policy to create any division between the Khasis and the Garos.
The VPP said the development-starved and long-neglected Garo Hills should join hands with the party to bring political and social revolution in the state where the corrupt have no place and are not tolerated. “The VPP is not based on a communal principle. Our demand for the review of the state reservation policy was not taken with a view to create a division between the two indigenous communities – the Khasis and the Garos,” VPP spokesperson Batskhem Myrboh told The Shillong Times.
He said the VPP will stand firm to protect what the Garos deserve to receive and it is not against their deprivation of rightful quota.
“Instead of pointing fingers at the VPP, it is rather important to join hands with the VPP when it expresses its concern over individuals or groups with vested interest misleading the people of Garo Hills by making them to believe the VPP is communal,” Myrboh said.
Stating that the Garo Hills region, as other parts of Meghalaya, deserves to get good governance, he pointed out, “The results of the various examinations in the state reveal that Garo Hills have suffered a long and criminal neglect by their own representatives from the parties they wrongly perceive to be pro-Garos.”
“We appeal to our brothers and sisters in Garo Hills to be a part of the process to bring political and social revolution in the state…” Myrboh said.
He said many columnists and detractors have tried to project the VPP as communal, similar to the BJP. He said their conclusion is based on two premises – the VPP has sought to review the state job reservation policy and the party leaders quoted verses from the Bible in their speeches.
“But I would like to pose these questions to the habitual critics and haters of the VPP. Is a demand of the VPP to base the job reservation policy on factual and correct census data communal? Have they found any reference where the VPP vitiated the social atmosphere by calling for communal hatred and violence or condoning and supporting any act that brings communal disharmony in the state?” he asked.
“Is using religious texts just to show that politics can be improved without deviating from secular principle of the Constitution wrong? Is secularism as provided in the Indian Constitution anti-religion? Have they found any reference that VPP ever promised or proposed to advance the interest of one religious community against the others?” he further asked.
He said it is rather strange that those who accuse the VPP of being communal suffer with “selected blindness”.
“They refuse to make any comment or offer criticism on the alleged communal and hate speech of the leaders of the other parties and their use of Biblical references as well as prayer of one particular religion in their political meetings,” he added.

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