AIZAWL: Congress MP Jairam Ramesh on Friday took a swipe at the ruling party in Mizoram and said that the Mizo National Front (MNF) is “tactically” claiming a split with the BJP, while both the parties are “two sides of the same coin”.
Addressing the media here in Aizwal as part of the party’s campaign for the upcoming assembly elections, Jairam Ramesh exuded confidence in Congress winning the elections.
“...The MNF (Mizo National Front), tactically, now says it is independent of the BJP... But we all know that MNF and BJP are two sides of the same coin...The ZPM (Zoram People’s Movement) is a relatively new party...But it has no program, no organization, and no ideology...”, Jairam Ramesh said.
MNF is an ally of the BJP in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
Recently, Mizoram chief minister and president of the governing Mizo National Front (MNF) Zoramthanga reportedly said his party will not work together with BJP in the coming election to the 40-member state legislature.
Elections to the 40-member Mizoram assembly will be held on November 7 and counting of votes will take place on December 3.
In the 2018 elections, Mizo National Front bagged 26 seats with a vote share of 37.8 per cent. Congress secured five seats and BJP won one seat.
This time, the ruling MNF, the main opposition party Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) and Congress have fielded candidates in all 40 seats.
BJP, which contested 39 seats in the last assembly polls in 2018, is now contesting 23 seats and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in its electoral debut in Mizoram has fielded four candidates.
Congress has fielded Lalsanglura Ralte from the Aizwal East-I constituency, currently held by MNF President and chief minister Zoramthanga.
While Mizoram Congress Committee chief Lalsawta has been fielded from Aizawl West-III (ST), Lalnunmawia Chuaungo has been given the party ticket from Aizawl North-I (ST). Lalrindika Ralte will contest from Hachhek (ST), Lalhmingthanga Sailo from Dampa (ST) and Lalrinmawia from Aizawl North-II.
Congress leader Rahul Gandi had campaigned for the party’s candidates in Aizawl and south Mizoram’s Lunglei town during his visit to Mizoram from October 16 to 17.
Addressing a press conference here, Rahul Gandhi said that MNF and Zoram People’s Movement “are the instruments for the RSS and BJP to enter” the northeastern state.
“Both the parties ZPM (Zoram People’s Movement) and MNF (Mizo National Front) are instruments for BJP and RSS to enter the state (Mizoram). Congress party can never be an instrument to enter (state) because we are ideologically completely against the BJP,” he said.
The Congress released its manifesto for poll-bound Mizoram, promising LPG cylinders at Rs 750, an old pension of Rs 2,000 per month, health insurance coverage up to 15 lakh, and other welfare measures if voted to power in the Northeastern state.
“The Congress party will establish a government which is efficient, transparent and free from corruption. The Congress government will strengthen grassroots democracy by giving more power, more responsibilities and financial resources to the village Councils and more local bodies,” Mizoram Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) Chief Spokesman Ronald Sapa Tlai stated in his release on Monday.
It said that the Congress government will also work on developing better infrastructure such as connectivity, airports, electricity etc in the state.
“To enable farmers and entrepreneurs to develop sustainable economic and livelihood activities, the Congress government will establish the young Mizo Entrepreneurs Program (YmElevate) with Startup Funding provisions and target of creating 1 lakh jobs for Mizo youths,” the release added.
It further stated that for families with no government employees, our party will endorse health insurance cover up to Rs 15 lakhs.
Altogether 174 candidates, including 16 women, are in the fray for the polls.
A total of 8,56,868 electorates, including 4,38,925 female voters, are eligible to exercise their franchise in the forthcoming assembly polls. (ANI)