The incumbent Congress MLA from Hachhek constituency in western Mizoram Lalrinmawia Ralte was made Mizoram’s Environment, Forest & Climate Change department minister, bearing the moral responsibility for just one controversy in his portfolio, he resigned from the minister’s post. A politician without a blot, chief minister of Mizoram Lal Thanhawla appointed him as his political adviser. Despite being a man of principle and a devotee of anti-corruption, he failed in one front – his campaigners and party leaders of his constituency lack the basic amenities while others from other constituencies have made themselves crorepatis.
Hachhek constituency in Mizoram bordering Tripura was the home of the Brus before the mass exodus of 1997. This constituency has the highest number of Bru voters as per the latest Mizoram electoral roll. It has 9,804 Bru voters against 13,811 Mizo voters, so the Brus are the deciding factors and no wonder the BJP is yet to nominate its candidate for this constituency.
The evolution of the Bru imbroglio dates back to 1997 when some Bru miscreants killed a Mizo wildlife game watcher near Persang village. Fearing an ethnic backlash of the dominant Mizo community, mass exodus of the Brus to Tripura took place and since then the Brus have been settling there since.
Several attempts to repatriate the Brus have failed miserably; they have made demands after demands to the Centre and the Mizoram government. Many of their demands were met, but not yet their ultimate goal – an autonomous district council, which they knew very well that the dominant Mizo tribe of Mizoram will never agree to. The imbroglio has led the Brus to take up arms against the Mizoram government for almost two decades.
Having a different ethnicity, the Brus for ages banking on the Congress as their benefactor rather than the local political parties, anything religion non-Christian and any language non-Mizo have been a winning potion, but now the saffron party has their age-long sentiments on the meltdown. Adding to that, the BJP has eventually learnt that the Brus are more porous by their Jai Mata Di slogan than trying to penetrate the Christianity barricade.
Lalrinmawia Ralte, knowing the gravity of Hachhek constituency and his infamous reputation among the partymen decided not to run for the election and pledged his service to the Congress party as the 2018 election campaign vice chairman, the constituency is open to all.
The BJP seems to have done the Mathematics, if they win over the Brus, they can get off the mark and start their first political innings in Mizoram. The Brus have 9804 votes in the constituency out of the total 23615 voters, one reputed Bru candidate under the aegis of the BJP; other political parties stand no chance.
For the BJP, the non-repatriated Brus settling in Tripura camps need to vote. Despite several pleas and protest from the Mizo organizations, the Election Commission of India has been pestering with them and has been acting like the Brus are far more important than the dominant tribe of Mizoram – the Mizos.
Until the 2013 Mizoram state assembly election, the Brus, cannot speak in one voice, like anyone else there’s difference in political ideology amongst themselves and religious ideologies between the Christian converts and the non-Christian converts. But this time around, the BJP has so many trump cards to play with the Brus. They sensed that their longtime dream and aspiration – to have an autonomous district council of their own is closer by voting the BJP to power. Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje campaigned for the party in 2013, but without any impact. Now the tide is high – Ram Madhav made waves and the Brus now knew that the BJPs are more serious this time around.
Mizoram, one of the most peaceful states in India, has been a role model of not only free and fair election but also a beautiful one for election in Mizoram is a festival in itself with singers and entertainers being used as campaign tools enlivening the mood of the entire state. Despite peace Mizoram has, many polling stations in western Mizoram, especially from Hachhek constituency are being declared sensitive areas, which eventually permeate the deployment of 40 companies of central armed police forces for the November 28 polls. This means that several reserve battalions of the Mizoram state will remain idle. ‘Brus have to cast their vote, no matter what, no matter where,’ if this conspiracy concept is a true factor then the BJP has a clear chance of winning Hachhek constituency.
The latest development in the Bru imbroglio has already triggered a no holds bar confrontation between the state’s two top officers. The chief electoral officer of Mizoram SB Shashank in all secrecy had submitted a series of unwarranted and illusory complaint against the principal secretary of Mizoram Lalnunmawia Chuaungo regarding the polling arrangement of the Brus residing in Tripura Refugee Camps, the repatriation for those have been conducted by the state government countless numbers but still not fully successful till date.
In his letter to the ECI, SB Shashank alleged that Chuaungo has been the sole instrument in abetting Mizoram government’s intrusion to curtail the rights of Brus living in Tripura Refugee Camps.
Having hag the sentiments of the dominant tribe of Mizoram hurt so deep, the largest and the all powerful NGO of the state – the YMA has unanimously declared an open war against SB Shashank. It has vowed an all out war until he leaves Mizoram, which could trigger another set of disturbances in the state of Mizoram.
The Election Commission of India, in its latest release has said that the present scenario of Mizoram could pose a threat for the coming assembly elections; which can be interpreted as an impending postponement, the Mizoram state assembly will expire on November 25; President’s Rule could be enforced.
Under the President’s Rule, BJP having power at the Centre, can turn the state of Mizoram around – Congress Mukt Northeast, like Hachhek constituency, other ethnic minority populated constituencies in the state can be the BJP’s Quo Vadis of Mizoram.