Aizawl, Oct. 24 (PTI): Political parties in Mizoram are gearing up for the November 29 Assembly elections.
The ruling Mizoram National Front (MNF) has decided to continue its ties with the Mizoram Congress Party (MCP) and forge an alliance with smaller parties to come back to power for the third consecutive term amid speculation about a hung Assembly.
Facing a strong anti-incumbency wave after ruling Mizoram for the past 10 years, the MNF has decided to have an electoral tie-up with the Mara Democratic Front (MDF) in South Mizoram and the Hmar People’s Convention (HPC) in Aizawl district to secure the magic figure of 21 in the 40-member House.
The MNF and the MDF are likely to have a seat-sharing arrangement in Saiha district.
The principal Opposition party, the Congress, has also entered into an electoral alliance with the Mipui Tangrual Pawl (MTP) or People’s Front by allotting six seats to it.
The Mizoram People’s Conference (MPC) and Zoram Nationalist Party (ZNP) are contesting under the banner of the United Democratic Alliance (UDA).
The MPC-ZNP combine had contested the 2003 Assembly polls, but managed to bag only five seats. The UDA is projecting former chief minister Brig. Thenphunga Sailo of the MPC as its chief ministerial candidate and Lalduhoma of the ZNP as his deputy.
Though parties like the BJP and the Lok Janshakti Party claim to be in the fray, according to political analysts, the contest will be confined to the MNF, the Congress and the UDA.
Alliances and coalition governments are not new in this tiny hill state.
The first government, after Mizoram attained full-fledged statehood in 1987, was formed by the MNF led by Laldenga after the Mizo Convention and the Mizo Peace Forum merged with the MNF.
The Congress government in 1989 was a coalition of the party and the MNF (Democrats), a breakaway group of the MNF.
The Congress retained power in 1993 after forging an alliance with Brig. Sailo’s Mizoram Janata Dal (MJD).
The MNF bounced back to power under the leadership of Zoramthanga in 1998 after forging an alliance with Brig. Sailo’s party — then re-christened as Mizoram People’s Conference.
The MNF retained power in 2003 on its own and formed a coalition with the MDF which managed to bag a single seat.
With a strong anti-incumbency mood against the MNF and corruption cases against Lalthanhawla of the Congress, political parties in the state can ill-afford to take chances alone in the coming polls.
The electorate seems to be extremely displeased with the performances of successive governments.