Ahead of polls, all Congress members of Mizoram autonomous council join BJP
The development comes ahead of next month’s polls to the LADC located in Lawngtlai district. The LADC has 25 total members of whom 8 are from Mizo National Front (MNF) and 4 former Congress members who resigned from the party last week.Updated: Oct 19, 2020, 01:51 IST
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has got a shot in the arm in Mizoram with all 13 members of the ruling Congress in Lai Autonomous District Council (LADC) switching sides and joining the saffron party on Friday.
The development comes ahead of next month’s polls to the LADC located in Lawngtlai district. The LADC has 25 total members of whom 8 are from Mizo National Front (MNF) and 4 former Congress members who resigned from the party last week.
“All ruling Congress members of LADC led by chief executive member (CEM) T Zakunga have joined BJP and formed a government of our party. The LADC is headed for election in last week of November,” Vanlalhmuaka, Mizoram BJP president told HT.
With this development, two of the three autonomous districts council in Christian-majority Mizoram, which is ruled by MNF, are under BJP rule at present. MNF is in power in the Chakma ADC while the Mara ADC is under BJP rule.
“This is a significant boost for our party as all the three ADCs were Congress strongholds earlier. With the developments seen in the last years, Congress has been systematically removed from the ADC areas by BJP,” Vanlalhmuaka said.
Political battles in Mizoram are usually two-sided affairs between Congress and MNF with the latter routing the former in the 2018 assembly polls. But BJP managed to enter the state assembly in 2018 when BD Chakma became the first MLA from the party in Mizoram.
Although MNF is a part of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) at Centre, the party doesn’t have any tie-up with BJP in Mizoram.
“The development in LADC is good for us as our main rival Congress has been decimated. The Congress is a spent force in Mizoram and MNF will come to power in LADC after the next polls,” said a senior MNF functionary on condition of anonymity.
The BJP is hoping that if senior party leaders visit the state ahead of the next polls and announce suitable packages for LADC from the Centre, the party would be able to retain its hold over the autonomous council.
“Like all ADCs, LADC also comes under 6th Schedule of Constitution and receive funds directly from the Centre. If the party leadership announces some special benefits we will sweep the polls next month,” said Vanlalhmuaka.
“The Congress members joined BJP en mass after they were promised that LADC would get direct funding from Centre and not through the Mizoram government. We are not affected much by the development as now we can choose the best candidates for the next polls there and are hopeful of coming back to power,” said former chief minister and Congress state president Lal Thanhawla.