The chief electoral officer (CEO) of Mizoram, Ashish Kundra, on Saturday said alternate arrangements are being made for Bru voters to vote for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections after fifteen special polling stations that were set up for them were destroyed in a thunderstorm.
Kundra said arrangements are being made to erect nine polling stations at a Catholic school building near the Kahnmun village in Mizoram-Tripura border.
As per reports, 12,081 Bru voters lodged in six relief camps in Tripura are supposed to cast their votes in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
He also said the Tripura government would arrange vehicles for transportation of Bru voters from the relief camps to the Mizoram border.
The plea of the Bru leaders to the Election Commission to allow them to cast their votes at their respective relief camps has been rejected by the poll panel.
Over 6,000 Bru voters had exercised franchise at the 15 polling stations in Kanhmun village during state Assembly elections last November.
People’s Representation for Identity and Status of Mizoram (PRISM) president Vanlalruata recently alleged that the declaration of Bru refugees as Mizoram citizens by Election Commission of India (ECI) is illegal.
Vanlalruata said, “In 2004, the Election Commission of India declared the Bru refugees who live in Tripura as ordinary residents of Mizoram. Our party opined that it is illegal because the Election Commission has no power to declare any person to be ordinary residents.”
“If they want to declare the Brus as ordinary citizens of Mizoram, the Central Government will declare it, and after which the Election Commission can give voting rights. Though ECI is a central agency it is not central government. Such declaration can only be made by the Home Ministry,” he added.
The party also demanded deletion of Bru voters residing in Tripura from the Mizoram electoral roll.
Vanlalruata said, “We demand for the deletion of all the Bru refugees from the Mizoram list as they have migrated to Tripura. Any citizen of India can migrate to any state within the country. These Brus have also migrated from Mizoram to Tripura.”
“Now they live in Tripura so they will have to vote in Tripura, not in Mizoram,” he added.