Cong 'win team' for Mizoram poll in place

The AICC has reverted to the "winning team" of minders for poll-bound Mizoram to "cap" any adverse fallout on the party following the resignation and subsequent expulsion of home minister and PCC vice-president R. Lalzirliana.

By OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT in Guwahati
  • Published 19.09.18
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Bhupen Kumar Borah

Guwahati: The AICC has reverted to the "winning team" of minders for poll-bound Mizoram to "cap" any adverse fallout on the party following the resignation and subsequent expulsion of home minister and PCC vice-president R. Lalzirliana.

Bhupen Kumar Borah, 48, who was retained as the AICC secretary in charge of Tripura on September 14 in an organisational rejig, was on Monday also made the secretary in charge of Mizoram till the completion of the Assembly elections in that state.

The decision to stick to Luizinho Faleiro, the AICC general secretary in charge of the Northeast (barring Assam), and Borah, a former MLA from Assam, came on a day Lalzirliana was expelled from the party, suggesting that the high command wanted its "tried and trusted" duo of minders to continue till the polls.

Both were there to supervise the 2013 Mizoram Assembly as well as the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, which the Congress won comfortably.

"Moreover, Borah had been working in the state since June and was also involved in efforts to bridge the gap between chief minister Lal Thanhawla and the influential Lalzirliana, who is tipped to join the Opposition Mizo National Front. It is a wise decision to retain the winning team because they are familiar with the politics of the state and its leaders. We cannot experiment now, cannot take any risk because Mizoram is the only state we have in the Northeast," a party insider told The Telegraph.

On Friday, the AICC had appointed senior Congress leader Ampareen Lyngdoh from Meghalaya as in charge of Mizoram to assist Faleiro. Sources said Lyngdoh will be part of the Falerio-Borah team and replace Borah once the polls are over, by which time she will be more familiar with the state's political landscape.

Apart from Borah and Lyngdoh, seven more AICC secretaries were appointed for the northeastern states - three from Meghalaya (Zenith Sangma is in charge of Arunachal Pradesh, Charles Pyngrope for Manipur, Ampareen Lyngdoh for Mizoram), two from Assam (Prodyut Bordoloi is in charge of Nagaland, and Borah), one each from Manipur (Victor Keishing is in charge of Meghalaya) and Tripura (Pradyot Deb Barman for Sikkim).

"These appointments were important to chalk out strategy as we have lost Assam, Arunachal, Manipur and Meghalaya to the BJP since it came to power at the Centre in 2014. We have virtually no presence in Tripura and Nagaland. A lot will depend on how Faleiro and Rawat take the team forward," a party leader said.