Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said on Saturday that the consumption of beef was not an issue in Nagaland, where the Bharatiya Janata Party is set to form a government after the Assembly election results came in. “Beef is not an issue, the Congress tried to raise it but our focus is on development,” Rijiju told the Hindustan Times in an interview.

On Saturday, the Nationalist Democratic People’s Party and the BJP secured 32 out of the 60 seats in the state Assembly. In response to a question, Rijiju said the BJP had managed to win the state despite its Christian majority because its focus was on development, and that other matters were “not important”.

“The Naga people have reposed faith in the BJP. We won’t disappoint them,” he said. Rijiju added that the saffron party had also secured a “historic” victory in Tripura and that the Congress would not come back to power in Meghalaya despite being the single-largest party.

The minister also said that finding a solution to the Naga crisis would be top priority for the new state government. He added that the BJP’s biggest challenge in Nagaland before the election was to break the election boycott announced by 10 political outfits.

Rijiju added that while the saffron party could not reach an alliance agreement with the Naga People’s Front due to differences on seat-sharing demands, the two parties “share the same views on peace and development of the region”.