Advertisement

Home / North-east / Mizo Front sweeps council polls, BJP makes gains

Mizo Front sweeps council polls, BJP makes gains

MNF won 20 out of the 25 seats, the first time it has won a majority on its own despite the BJP going 'all out' to challenge the ruling dispensation
BJP national spokesperson Mmhonlumo Kikon, a Nagaland legislator, congratulated the MNF and chief minister Zoramthanga for the successful campaign

Umanand Jaiswal   |   Guwahati   |   Published 10.12.20, 01:11 AM

The ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) in Mizoram has swept the Lai Autonomous District Council (LADC) elections by winning 20 out of the 25 seats, the first time it has won a majority on its own despite the BJP going “all out” to challenge the ruling dispensation.

The results for the December 4 elections, announced on Tuesday, also saw the BJP gain at the cost of the Congress, both of which won a seat each but the saffron party finished second in 11 seats. Three seats were won by Independents.

Advertisement

In the last council polls in 2015, the MNF had won eight seats, the Congress 16 and one Independent.

Senior MNF leader R. Rohmingliana told The Telegraph that it was a vote for the overall good work being done by the state government, including during the pandemic.

He, however, dismissed the BJP’s gains saying it will not grow in Mizoram, a Christian-majority state.

In the LADC polls, which recorded a voter turnout of 85.09 per cent, the MNF contests all 25 seats, the BJP 17 seats and the Congress 14.

“It is for the first time in 11 LADC polls we have won a majority. It is because of the good work done by our MNF government. Manghmung Chinzah will be the next LADC chief executive member. The BJP tried very hard, went all out. It gained only because of the Congress’s decline. The Congress voters who will not vote for the MNF voted for the BJP. There is nothing to worry,” Rohmingliana said.

He is the member-secretary of the seven-member MNF core committee, the highest-decision making body of the party.

Though the MNF is part of the BJP-headed North East Democratic Alliance, a group of non-Congress parties, it has no truck with the BJP in Mizoram.

By capturing the LADC, the MNF now leads two of the three autonomous district councils in the state, the other being the Chakma council. The BJP heads the Mara council after 20 Congress councillors switched over to the BJP to hand it majority.

In August, the MNF had convincingly won elections to the village councils and urban local bodies.

If the MNF won a majority for the first time in the council polls, the BJP won a seat for the first time in the LADC, created under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution in 1972. Only 10 of the 22 sitting members won the polls.

BJP national spokesperson Mmhonlumo Kikon, a Nagaland legislator, congratulated the MNF and chief minister Zoramthanga for the successful campaign as well as the state BJP team led by Vanlalhmuaka for the “immense effort” they put in not only registering “a first win in the history of LADC” but also increasing the vote share of the BJP in the entire council area which falls under Langtwlai district.

“This indicates the relevance of the BJP in Mizoram in a big way. The party will only grow from strength to strength! The party stands committed to fulfilling its promise to the LADC,” Kikon said.

Kikon and Union sports minister Kiren Rijiju had campaigned in the LADC with Rijiju asserting that the BJP would go all out to win the council polls.

For the Congress, defections to the MNF and then to the BJP last year cost the party dear.

Mizoram PCC spokesperson Dr Lallianchhunga told this newspaper that they didn’t have time to “rectify” the situation before the polls because of the defections, a reason for which they did not contest all the 25 seats.

Another reason was imposition of a partial lockdown in Lawngtlai district between November 20 and 24 and from December 1 to 5.

“Opposition parties were left handicapped, while the ruling MNF ministers and leaders were camping in the LADC area,” he said.

Dr Lallianchhunga, however, feels the BJP’s campaign strategy “failed” miserably. “It hoped to garner popular support by using direct funding to the council as an electoral issue but it didn’t work,” he said.



Advertisement
Advertisement
Mobile Article Page Banner
Advertisement
 
 
 
Copyright © 2020 The Telegraph. All rights reserved.