Uncertainty prevails over votes of Reang refugees
AGARTALA: Reang refugees are spending days in uncertainty over contradictory reports on where they will cast their votes in the coming Assembly election of Mizoram. In the last several elections, the Reang refugees exercised their franchise through postal ballots from their camps only.
But this time the question is hunting them as no specific announcement is there from the Election Commission so far.
The confusion has been created due to the recent decision of the Central government to stop a supply of ration and relief materials to them from October 1 which many interpret as withdrawal of their ‘refugee’ recognition. The two organizations of the refugees also appear to be in a state of confusion over the question.
Despite this uncertainty, some political parties reportedly started visiting the camps seeking votes from the refugees. Many of them instead of physically visiting the camps have engaged some local organizations or political outfits to campaign in their favor.
It may be recalled that the 11,232 voters among the Reang refugees are very vital in Mizoram election as they are the deciding factors at least in two constituencies Mamith and Kolashib. Among the refugees, 8,777 are voters of Mamith constituency while 1,732 are voters of Kolashib. There are 723 voters of Lunglai district also.
As per an agreement signed by the representatives of the Union Home Ministry, the Governments of Mizoram and Tripura and the refugee leaders, the refugees were supposed to return to their ancestral home by September 30. But only 54 families have returned so far.