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HindustanTimes Thu,02 Oct 2014
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For Mizo candidates, Sunday a day of rest

Rahul Karmakar, Hindustan Times  AIZAWL, November 17, 2013
First Published: 23:27 IST(17/11/2013) | Last Updated: 16:37 IST(7/12/2013)

Sunday is for God in Mizoram. Everything else can wait, even campaigning for once-in-five-years assembly elections.

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 Campaigning for the November 25 polls in Mizoram has entered a crucial phase. But for the people, nothing is more important than sticking to the Sunday routine of going to church. Every other public place too is in shutdown mode.

Almost 87% of Mizoram’s 1.09 million people are Christians. A majority of them are Presbyterians, followed by the Baptists, Catholics and other denominations.

So what do the 138 candidates seeking a berth in the 40-seat assembly do? Go to church, of course, to connect with the electorate spiritually if not to canvass subtly.  Some like former chief minister Zoramthanga teaches the ‘Book of Psalms’ at Bible classes every Sunday during church services at Ramhlun, his home locality in Aizawl.

Zoramthanga is president of the Mizo National Front, which has formed the Mizoram Democratic Alliance with two other regional parties. “As true Christians, we cannot ignore our responsibilities toward God,” Zoramthanga said.

 Lalduhawma, president of the regional Zoram Nationalist Party, has a similar Sunday assignment in his Cawlhhmun locality, though not regularly.

 Mizoram Congress president and chief minister Lal Thanhawla is not a regular Sunday school teacher but he attends church in his Zarkawt neighbourhood whenever he is in town.

Mizos invariably avoid non-church activities on Sundays. This was evident from their protest when the Election Commission scheduled the date of counting of votes on December 8, a Sunday. The counting for Mizoram will now be held on December 9.

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