Aizawl: Mizoram Chief Minister and ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) president Zoramthanga on Tuesday reiterated that his party will retain power in the next assembly polls.

Elections to the 40-member Mizoram Assembly are due in the latter part of this year. 

“Our arch-rival Congress has declined and the number of constituencies it can win is very scanty. Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM), on the other hand, can no longer use its previous planks. So, there is no gainsaying that MNF will retain power in the next assembly polls,” Zoramthanga said while addressing the party block conference at Assam border Kolasib town. 

In the present assembly, the MNF has 28 members, while the main opposition party ZPM has 6, Congress-5 and BJP -1. Last month, Zoramthanga had said that his party will win the next assembly polls as they have 27 efficient MLAs  (excluding him), who are constantly monitoring and taking care of their respective constituencies.

He also claimed that the MNF will win the first Lunglei Municipal Council (LMC) polls to be held on Wednesday. The three times chief minister said that his government has been constantly making massive efforts to usher in developments despite many hurdles.

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He said that the MNF during its previous rule (1998-2008) had experienced famine triggered by bamboo flowering and the present government has also been plagued by the COVID-19 pandemic and other problems.

“Despite all these hurdles, the government has been making efforts for the welfare of the people and was able to distribute financial assistance under Socio-Economic Development Policy (SEDP),” Zoramthanga said, adding that the SEDP assistance will continue to be distributed.

The SEDP is the state government’s flagship programme, which aims at bringing sustainable development by accelerating progress in key sectors through exploration and judicious use of resources and maintaining equality and equity among the citizens.

During fiscal 2022-23, the government provided financial assistance of Rs. 25,000 each to 60,000 beneficiaries.

Out of Rs.595 crore allocated for the implementation of SEDP in 2023-24 fiscal, Rs. 300 crore was earmarked for family-oriented programmes or financial assistance. 

Zoramthanga further claimed that his government has been taking sincere measures to protect the territorial integrity of the state and extend help to Mizo communities living even outside the country. He said that Mizoram did not lose even a single policeman and retreated from the border area during the border dispute with neighbouring Assam.

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“They (Assam) urged us to withdraw. But they stopped asking when I told them that I must resign first if we are to retreat from the border. In the assembly, we also passed a resolution to extend humanitarian aid to our Mizo ethnic refugees despite the Centre’s directive to push them back to their countries,” the former rebel leader turned politician said.

More than 30,000 refugees from Myanmar and over 500 people from Bangladesh are currently taking shelter in Mizoram. The northeastern state shares a 510 km long international border with Myanmar and 318 km with Bangladesh.

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