Though the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been able to manage to come to power in all the northeastern States, except Mizoram, but here in Mizoram, in what can be termed as the last bastion for the Congress in the region, local political parties have shut their political doors to the saffron party, fearing the Christian backlash.
The two larger local political parties of Mizoram, the Mizo National Front (MNF) and a conglomerate of seven local parties, the Zoram People’s Movement have openly ruled out having any connection with the BJP, but yet, the saffron brigade is all set to take on the big political fight for the Mizoram polls slated to be held on November 28, 2018.
The BJP has contested for three State Assembly elections in Mizoram in a row, but yet to get off the mark, however, it has rejuvenated by the success of the party in the region and this year’s election can be seen as the best chance the party ever has.
Former Chief Minister of Mizoram Zoramthanga-led Mizo National Front (MNF), despite being a member of the NEDA, a conglomerate of non-Congress parties of the Northeast has openly declared that the MNF would not form pre- or post-poll alliance with the BJP, so did another local party, the ZPM.
Another party, the National People’s Party of Meghalaya, which has an alliance with the BJP in Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Manipur too, has openly said that they are contesting one against one fight with the BJP in Mizoram.
An evident factor is that none of the local political parties are not ready to mess with the Christian sentiments of the people of Mizoram by forming an alliance with the BJP.
A hung Assembly is what most political pundits of the State are predicting, however, Zoramthanga has said that his party would garner at least 32 seats.
A political observer, who himself was a politician, F Lalnienga, however said otherwise. “Mizoram is such a small state, and with advancing information technology, I see no hung assembly, either the ZPM or the MNF will form a new government, the BJP might get three seats, but their relevance will be not like what we have seen in other northeastern states,” he said.
A total of 212 nominations have been filed by 202 candidates for the 40 State Assembly constituencies in Mizoram, the ruling Congress and the MNF have candidates in all the 40 seats, the BJP will contest 39 seats while the ZPM has fielded candidates in 35 Assembly seats.
The BJP, which is yet to make a mark in the State Assembly, will mainly bank on their trump card – the Brus and the ethnic minorities of the State.
The Bru imbroglio – a two decade long stand-off between the Mizoras and the Brus have sparked a huge controversy recently after the sacking of the State’s principal secretary Lalnunmawia Chuaungo after the State CEO SB Shashank filed a complaint against him for meddling with the election process.
However, the joint NGO coordination committee demanded ouster of the CEO which resulted in a bigger rift between the Mizo tribe and the Brus, which the BJP is hoping to tap opening up their ante in three western constituencies – Hachhek, Dampa and Mamit.
The saffron party is confident of winning the Chakma populated Tuichawng constituency by way of their trump card candidate, former Congress leader and Minister Buddha Dhan Chakma.
The political arena of poll-bound Mizoram is presently a difficult-to-predict scene; political parties though are convinced that they would form their own government, but political pundits said otherwise, but the difference that could arise is that political parties from Mizoram has already declined to ally with the BJP at any costs.