Mizo voters oblivious of impending poll
Just as the blind street singer on the streets of this hill and picturesque town, many of the Mizo voters seemed to be little interested for tomorrow's assembly poll.india Updated: Nov 19, 2003 20:57 IST
Just as the blind street singer on the streets of this hill and picturesque town, many of the Mizo voters seemed to be little interested for tomorrow's assembly poll.
Any book about Mizoram is incomplete without the photograph of this blind street singer who carries on with his numbers throughout the day as visitors drop coins in his paper basket by the side of the road.
And just as him, many Mizo voters, including those who had attained the age of 18 years and enlisted for the first time in the electoral roll, seemed to less enthusiastic about tomorrow's poll.
"We are frankly not interested in politics as the leaders make tall promises but when they come to power they forget about the people and start earning money", says Lalsiama, a college student.
Another 19-year-old voter Lalbuaia who has been enlisted for the first time also seemed not interested in the democratic process.
"They (the political parties) spend a lot of money and create a festival-like atmosphere during poll days but when the voting is over they forget about everything", he says.
That is the very reason why the general people are not interested in the poll process although it comes once in every five years.
The response from 70-year-old voter Renkunga was almost the same although he had some words of advice for the political leaders to ensure that they get response from the centre.
"Which ever political party comes to power it is important that they remain friendly with the centre as Mizoram being a remote state with limited resosurces have to always depend on New Delhi to deliver the goods", he says.
Being landlocked and depending for supply from the country's mainland through Assam it is meaningless for the political parties to launch agitations to attract the attention of the centre.
The diminishing interest in the democratic process probably reflected in the low key electioneering that ended yesterday although a host of national leaders and musicians tried their best to lend colour to the process.
BJP leaders M Venkiah Naidu, C P Thakur, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Salman Khursheed, Margaret Alva and local stalwarts chief minister Zoramthanga and his predecssor Lal Thanhawla were the star campaigners for the assembly poll but most of their poll meetings got limited response from the political point of view although many thronged the venues to have a glimpse of them.
The striking factor this time would be the fact that the Jew comminity who said they had migrated to the state thousands of years back would vote for three candidates from a party named the Ephraim Union including a woman contestant Elisheva K Zodingliani.
A batch of 100 members from the Jew community are leaving the state every year for their parent country Israel and even last year a batch left the state, one of their members said.
Although the community had settled as Mizos for thousands of years some time back they found that their life style resembled those of the jews and hence the belief that they were jews.
The political pundits in the state have pointed out to a possible support of the BJP with the ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) while the Congress is expected to rope in the Mizoram People's Conference (MPC)-Zoram Nanional Party (ZNP) combine if none of them attain majority in the 40 member house
The congress softness towards the MPC-ZNP was obvious when Gandhi during her two rallies here launched a scathing attack on the MNF while chosing to remain silent on them.
The state machinery has in the meantime geared up for tomorrow's polling which is scheduled to begin at 7 a.M. Till 4 p.M. When polling ends.
First Published: Nov 19, 2003 20:57 IST