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Tue, 20 Aug 2019

Northeast Today

Non-BJP candidates in Mizoram vow to fight citizenship bill ‘tooth and nail’ if voted to power in Lok Sabha election

Non-BJP candidates in Mizoram vow to fight citizenship bill ‘tooth and nail’ if voted to power in Lok Sabha election
April 07
16:20 2019

NET Bureau

In the 12 Lok Sabha elections held since 1972 in Mizoram, a candidate from a non-ruling party has won the state’s lone parliamentary seat only twice, in 1980 and 1998. Will 2019 polls be the third time?

The main fight in Mizoram is between young Independent contestant Lalnghinglova Hmar — a 42-year-old journalist and editor fondly called Tetea, who has the support of the Congress and Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) — and C Lalrosanga, a candidate of the ruling Mizo national Front (MNF), who is a retired director general of Doordarshan.

For the first time, Mizoram also has a woman contesting as an Independent. Besides Lalthlamuani, Lalhriatrenga Chhangte, the deputy controller of mines at the Indian Bureau of Mines, is also contesting the Lok Sabha election as an Independent candidate. The BJP has fielded Nirupam Chakma, PRISM, an NGO, nominated TBC Lalvenchhunga.

Young voters are expected to play a key role in this election in Mizoram. The Young Voters’ Club, in association with the Chief Electoral Officer, organised a massive campaign on 29 March in the state with the theme “Your vote, your voice” to create awareness about the election among the youth and first-time voters. They are expected to turn out in high numbers for the polls.

Hmar is expected to get a significant chunk of the votes from this segment, being one of Mizoram’s best-known journalists and the joint editor of the largest circulated local paper, Vanglaini. A winner of many journalism awards, Hmar is also a football enthusiast. He is an executive member of the All India Football Federation and has put in considerable efforts to promote the game in Mizoram and at the national level — all of which enhances his appeal, to first-time voters in particular.

Speaking at a joint party meeting where his candidacy was announced, Hmar, who has a masters degree in history, said he would promote sports for Mizo youths at both the national and international level. He also mentioned that as a journalist, he had studied the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in depth, and if elected, he will vehemently oppose its implementation.

Mizoram Congress and ZPM strongly endorsed his candidature at the joint party meeting.

“Previous Lok Sabha elections in Mizoram were issue-less elections,” said Congress spokesperson Lallianchhunga. “But the 2019 election is going to be different, with the citizenship bill, Hindutva, secularism, cow-related violence, failure of the BJP’s electoral promises, and so on. Mizo Christians are going to make the BJP pay for the problems they have faced since the party came to power in 2014.”

ZPM spokesperson and leader of the Zoram Exodus Movement Sapdanga said: “There has been a sudden political upheaval in India Looking at Lalnghinglova Hmar’s achievements in the world of football, I am sure he will take the youths of Mizoram to greater heights.”

Hmar, an honorary secretary of Mizoram Football Association, has strong views against the BJP’s proposed Uniform Civil Code. The 42-year-old history graduate believes that the move will pose a grave danger to minorities in the state, and that the BJP poses a threat to Mizo customs and traditions.

Source: Firstpost

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