National

Mizoram Assembly Polls: MNF Is Partner With NDA, But Have No Links, Alliance With BJP, Claims CM Zoramthanga

Mizo National Front leader Zoramthanga claimed that his party's endeavours to include Zo tribes would yield electoral advantages for the party. He emphasized that individuals escaping from Myanmar, Bangladesh, and Manipur find a sense of security in Mizoram, where his party holds sway.

Chief Minister of Mizoram, Zoramthanga.
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Expressing confidence in the Mizo National Front's (MNF) victory, Chief Minister Zoramthanga clarified that the MNF has no formal state-level alliance with the BJP, and their support for the NDA at the national level is issue-based.

Zoramthanga claimed that his party's endeavours to include Zo tribes would yield electoral advantages for the party. He emphasized that individuals escaping from Myanmar, Bangladesh, and Manipur find a sense of security in Mizoram, where his party holds sway.

Polling for the 40-member Mizoram assembly is scheduled on November 7 amid tight security arrangements.

Speaking to reporters in Aizawl before casting his vote, Zoramthanga expressed confidence in the Mizo National Front (MNF) winning the election. He attributed this to factors such as the successful implementation of development projects despite financial constraints and the lack of strong candidates from rival parties.

In a bid to distance his party from the saffron party, he said, "We are partners with the NDA at the Centre and our support is primarily issue-based. In the state, we do not have any links or alliance with the BJP."

The MNF president asserted that his party is focusing on Mizo sub-nationalism and making massive efforts to integrate all Zo ethnic tribes.

"People who have fled from Myanmar, Bangladesh and Manipur feel secure under the MNF government," he said.

Zoramthanga said that the MNF, if it retains power, will take steps to rehabilitate refugees from Myanmar and Bangladesh and internally displaced people from Manipur by constructing prefabricated homes if the need arises.

However, the government's utmost aspiration is that peace and normalcy return to these places, he said.

"Our greatest desire is that peace returns to Myanmar, Manipur and Bangladesh and the Centre continues its efforts towards this end so that people return to their native places," the 79-year-old rebel-turned-politician said.

Mizoram presently provides refuge to 32,492 Myanmar and Bangladesh nationals, along with 11,991 internally displaced individuals from Manipur, as reported by the state home department.

The Myanmar refugees sought sanctuary in the state following the military takeover of their home country in February 2021. Zo ethnic people from Bangladesh's Chittagong Hill Tracts fled to Mizoram due to alleged military aggression, while those from Manipur have been seeking shelter in the state since early May of this year due to ethnic conflict.

In the current election, the MNF, which secured 26 seats in the previous assembly polls in 2018, has fielded 40 candidates. The main opposition, the Zoram People's Movement (ZPM), and the Congress have also nominated candidates for 40 seats each.

The BJP, which contested 39 seats in 2018, is now vying in 23 constituencies, and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has put forward four candidates. Additionally, there are 27 independent candidates.

More than 8.57 lakh voters, including 4.39 lakh women, are eligible to cast their ballots to determine the fate of 174 candidates, 18 of whom are women. Vote counting is scheduled for December 3.

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