Congress restructured its North-East coordination committee on Saturday with Meghalaya chief minister Mukul Sangma as convener as part of attempts to retain hold in the region, which, the party alleged, is being "actively destabilised" by BJP.
Announcing the Committee, Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said the committee has been set up to protect the inclusive character of the north-east region as BJP and RSS have made "insidious attempts" to communally polarise it.
"In order to protect the very inclusive character of North Eastern India, in order to preserve its unity and diversity, the Congress president and Congress vice-president have reconstituted the North East Co-ordination Committee," he told reporters.
He was flanked by Sangma, former Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Nabam Tuki and AICC Secretary incharge Jai Kumar.
The North East Congress Coordination Committee will have Lal Thawala, chief minister of Mizoram, Okram Ibobi Singh, chief minister of Manipur, DD Lapung, Meghalaya PCC chief, besides state Congress chiefs of Assam, Manipur, Tripura, Nagaland, Arunachal and Sikkim as its members.
Former Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi and former chief ministers of Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Manipur are permanent invitees to the committee.
Tewari said "in the past 28 months, one thing has become very evident that both the BJP and the Central Government have been working overtime to destabilize North Eastern India. "Their inability to manage the larger geo-strategic environment, has resulted in repeated intrusions by Chinese into Arunachal Pradesh," he said, adding that there was a major intrusion in June 2016, another intrusion in Sept 2016 and two days ago in Demchok in Ladakh where there is stand-off between PLA and Indian Army over construction of an Irrigation Canal under MNREGA Scheme.
"In addition to that, there is the whole spectre of internal subversion, the repeated destabilization of elected Congress government notwithstanding, very severe strictures which were passed by none other than the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India.
"Coupled with that, you have this very insidious attempt by the RSS and the BJP to try and communally polarize the North Eastern part of India. The statement by one of the Assam ministers, who is part of the purported North East Democratic Alliance, is reprehensible, is shameful and deserves to be condemned in the strongest possible terms," he said.
Sangma said the platform will look at issues in North East, bring leaders onto one platform and "ensure that we protect the region from agendas which are detrimental". "We look forward to serving the people, because our mandate is to carry forwardagendas which are in sync with the aspirations of the people," he said. BJP recently formed a North-East Democratic Alliance headed by Himanta Biswa Sarma, a former Congressman who is seen as number two in the new BJP government in Assam.