Editorial

Test in Mizoram

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 11/23/2018 12:14:51 PM IST

 Mizoram will go to polls on November 28, 2018 to elect 40 members to the next legislative assembly. The elections will be held in a single phase and the votes will be counted on December 11 and results will be available on the same day. Earlier, an opinion poll conducted by C-Voter predicted a hung assembly where no single party was likely to cross the halfway mark of 20. The main contest in Mizoram Assembly Elections is between the incumbent Congress and the main opposition Mizo National Front (MNF). The other parties also in the fray are the Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) and the Bharatiya Janata Party. Mizoram is the last Congress bastion in the north east and the forthcoming polls will be a litmus test not only for Lalthanhawla veteran Congress leader and fifth-time chief minister who has successfully contested eight times; the polls will also show if the BJP can open its maiden account in the land-locked hilly state. Former chief minister Zoramthanga said his party, Mizo National Front (MNF), will contest assembly polls on its own. The MNF is a member of the BJP-floated platform of non-Congress parties, North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA). However, in order to keep a long distance from the BJP in lieu of the Church’s sentiments, Zoramthanga has said his party will contest all 40 seats and will have no truck whatsoever with BJP. The Congress under Lalthanhawla has been in power long enough and despite providing stable development, is also facing an anti-incumbency sentiment. However, the recent S.B.Shashank episode where the former who was CEO created huge uproar in having principal home secretary and local Mizo IAS officer Chuango removed. Shashank was seen to have adopted a pro-Bru refugee approach to enable them to vote in refugee camps in Tripura. Brus and Chakmas are looking up to BJP to deliver on the pledge of granting them some autonomous council within Mizoram. That issue has somewhat saved Congress from earning full scale anti-incumbency. However, allegations of corruption against the Congress government especially its chief minister could prove difficult to shrug off. However, the crucial support of the church in Mizoram is considered very essential. The Congress had lifted prohibition so as to decriminalise alcohol consumption despite the church’s objection. The rival MNF is grabbing the opportunity in promising to revive the dry law if it comes to power. The political battle in practise is going to be between NEDA and Congress. Unlike in the past, BJP is no longer an idealistic party but one with a very pragmatic approach to power politics. It has awesome resources in the form of money, thousands of RSS cadres in Assam and in power in alliance with regional parties in the north east except Arunachal Pradesh where it runs a single-party government. In a hung house, the resources will come into play and so it will be advantage MNF. However, having rejected alliance with BJP, it will be an impossible task for MNF if it ends up actually needing all help and resources from BJP; after all they are partners under NEDA. The outcome could also impact 24 Lok Sabha seats from the north east in 2019 as a huge win for Congress could be a booster or a win for MNF/BJP would confirm where the north east states would vote.

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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