Mizoram elections: Can Congress retain the only NE state it is in power?
Aizwal, Oct 15: For the Congress it is a do or die battle in Mizoram. Last month started with a setback for the party with the resignation of home minister R Lalzirliana.
Home Minister R Lalzirliana, who was vice-president of the state Congress, resigned on September 14. Three days before, he was served a show-cause notice by the MPCC disciplinary committee accusing him of confusing party workers. He was expelled later.
The Congress fears that many more would follow him in the run up to the elections. For the Congress retaining Mizoram is important since it is the only North Eastern state that it is in power.
To take on the Congress, the People's Represent for Identity and Status Of Mizoram, Mizoram Chhantu Pawl and Save Mizoram Front and Operation Mizoram have forged an alliance. The NPP which is an ally of the BJP in the state and also Meghalaya has set up a local unit to take on the Congress. The NPP which is supporting the BJP led government in Manipur and Meghalaya announced that it would fight the battle at Mizoram.
For the Congress, one of the biggest challenges would be to beat anti-incumbency. This coupled with charges of corruption is hurting the grand old party in the state. The party has been in power since the past 20 years now. The BJP on the other hand is yet to open its account in the state and the first time that the party took part in the elections here was in 1993.
The other issue would be the framing community who are 11 lakh in number. They constitute 70 per cent of the electorate in the state and had recent hit the streets in large numbers demanding land reforms.
The other issue plaguing the Congress is the defection of its leaders. There is speculation that the defections are being engineered by Chief Minister, Lal Thanhawla, a charge that the party has rubbished. Amidst speculation that the BJP is trying to engineer a big split in the party, the Congress is keeping a close watch on its leaders, who are likely to quit as the elections come closer.
The Congress on the other hand has decided to field young candidates to beat the anti-incumbency factor. The Congress however says it is confident of retaining power in the state.
"With 32 MLAs, I am confident that we will win with comfortable majority to form the government for a third consecutive term. People of Mizoram have not lost faith in the leadership of Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla," AICC general secretary in-charge of Northeast Luizinho Faleiro was quoted as saying by PTI.
He also said that two MLAs may have quit the party, but 1000s have joined the Congress as well. He said that the party would field at least 40 per cent of the candidates who would be below the age of 40. The party leadership wants to rid some
The election to the 40 member Mizoram Assembly will held on November 28 and the votes would be counted on December 11.