Mizoram has always generally been a bipolar contest between the Mizo National Front (MNF) and the Congress party. But, this year, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which had failed to open its account in the last assembly elections has fielded 39 candidates out of 40 seats, hoping to play the role of kingmaker this time. The five-time chief minister and Congress veteran Lal Thanhawla is facing a stiff challenge from his arch-rival Zoramthanga, 74, was also a two-time chief minister from the MNF. “We have always focused on development. Mizoram has the highest per capita income, literacy rate so the opposition has no issues at hand. There is no anti-incumbency in Mizoram,” the 76-year old told in a media conference, putting up a brave front.
In reality, after ten years of continuous work in the office, the Congress has not only faced dissatisfaction, but there is also a rigid church on the government’s decision to lift liquor restrictions in the state. “People here need a very important change: under Congress rule, there is still a development in Mizoram for a decade, instead they are selling alcohol, due to which thousands have died”, Chief opposition leader Zoramthanga said, promising to re-impose the ban if voted to power.
In the fight between the two Mizo Stolverts, there is a new catalyst in the form of the BJP. Seven out of seven North-Eastern states are already ruling by BJP. Now BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) hopes to play a balanced role in the case of the hung assembly. As a result, BJP hopes to play a role of balance in case the results throw up a hung assembly.
Himmatva Biswasarmama, BJP’s chief architect in the region, said, “Without the support of which no government can be formed in Mizoram, we will win a special number of seats.”
HINDUTVA VS CHRISTIANITY
In a Christian majority state, this is going to be a turmoil task for a party which supports beef restrictions as part of the Hindutva agenda. Zormathanga is confident that BJP will draw a nil. Zorththanga said, “The ideology of Hindutva and Christianity are poles apart, which is why the Church is against BJP. They have no chance, they will draw a nil,” Zoramthanga said.”
However, Vishwakarma has assured that the BJP’s anti-Christian image was demolished in the state. Biswasama said, “We have demolished this image that BJP is anti-Christian. From all Christian-dominated states in the North East, we have governments in three states and people are peacefully enjoying full freedom of religion. “Biswasarma added it was open to join hands with Congress veteran Lal Thanhawla if in his ‘individual capacity’ Thanhawla wants to form a government.
The legislative assembly elections will be held on November 28 to elect members of the 40 constituencies in the state.