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Tue, 11 Dec 2018

Northeast Today

Changing Shades of Mizoram Election

Changing Shades of Mizoram Election
November 14
17:22 2018

October Edition, Statewide Mizoram

Slated towards the end of the year, Mizoram election is on the highest tide. It would be beguiling to see whether the saffron colour can leave its mark in this state in any possible way, or the Congress grips on its dominance. Not to be ignored the potent MNF playing its card wisely. Maumita Mazumdar reports

Sustenance of Congress

Northeast has always been a patron of Congress but with the recent trends the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has taken over quite a big chunk out of it. With the Assembly elections approaching in Mizoram, it would be interesting to see if Congress can stick to the Mizo ground or is dethroned!

The latest internal clash within the Congress party has given a new angle to the ensuing elections. The resignation of the Mizoram Home Minister Lalzirliana from the Lal Thanhawala cabinet portrays that a lot is boiling in the cauldron of power and position.

He has based his resignation on the grounds that the aspirations of the people of his constituency remained unfulfilled. The Lal Thanhawala government has failed to create a separate district for the Saitual town as promised by the AICC president Rahul Gandhi during the 2013 election campaign in the Saitual playground.

Lalzirliana, who was also holding the position of the vice president of the Mizoram Pradesh Congress Committee, was served with a showcase notice by the state Congress Disciplinary Committee due to the wake of a news report which claimed him joining the Mizo National Front (MNF).

On his resignation, BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli said, “The resignation of Mizoram home minister is a big development. Minister leaving his party cannot be taken lightly.”

Lalzirliana was later expelled from the party due to his denial of answering the showcase notice served to him. His moving out of the Congress party indeed has created a stir in the prevailing situations and this will certainly have a serious impact on the outcome of the election. Recently two other members of the Mizoram Pradesh Youth Committee- Laldingliana Sailo and Vanlalpeka Hauhnar- were also relieved from their posts.

It is to be noted that Congress has been strong at the non-Mizo areas and mostly in rural or small town areas. Earlier it seemed Congress could have made a comeback, but with the recent developments, the Congress seats might dwindle.

Strong Opposition

The MNF is a strong regional party of Mizoram and it is certain to pose enough threat to the Congress in forming the government in the coming months. Moreover, in a major boost to the party ahead of the elections, Aizawl football club owner Robert Romawia Royte has been inducted into the party recently. Known as ‘Triple R’ among his followers, Romawia also owns North East Consultancy Services which is currently engaged in several government projects. Royte was also the joint candidate of all opposition parties in the 2014 Lok Shaba election and lost to Congress candidate with a margin of 6000 votes.

BJP in the Scenario

As for the Narendra Modi or BJP wave in Mizoram, the central BJP has to make a new strategy because the state BJP is not strong enough to hit the deck all by itself. It would be intriguing enough to see what strategy Modi-Shah duo come up with to topple the Congress regime. The BJP leaders have claimed from time-to-time as how the NE states have moved away from Congress.

Expressing confidence of putting up a good show in Mizoram, BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli said that Mizoram will also join the other six states of the Northeast to bring development under PM Narendra Modi’s slogan ‘Sabka Sath Sabka Vikas’.

A local resident who has been offered to join the MNP owing to his immense popularity and strong advocacy to the state politics, said, “BJP can change the scenario if they promote good leader, but the present BJP president is not a favoured candidate due to his inability to stick one party for long.”

Thus, BJP’s next move is something that needs to be closely monitored as it can bring quakes in the present establishment.

Conclusion

Despite the elections due in November, the election atmosphere is quite calm at this moment; this may be because officially the names of the candidates are not yet announced. But it has started to build up especially in rural areas. The Mizoram elections will be a fight of three sides-the ruling Congress; the MNF, an alliance of the Zoram Peoples Movement (ZPM) and the BJP along with the newly recognised party PRISM.

(With inputs from C Lalnunthara)

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