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Monday, Sep 23, 2019

Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Man behind bustling Mizoram football scene to be joint oppn candidate in LS polls

Lok Sabha Elections 2019: In Mizoram, it is likely be a contest between two political newbies in the Lok Sabha polls. A journalist known for his role in shoring up the state’s football circuit is set to take on a retired government official on the lone Lok Sabha seat in the Christian majority state on April 11.

lok-sabha-elections Updated: Mar 15, 2019 14:08 IST
Sadiq Naqvi
Sadiq Naqvi
Hindustan Times, Guwahati
The 41-year-old Lalnghinglova Hmar was selected as a joint candidate of the Congress and the Zoram People’s Movement on Wednesday.
The 41-year-old Lalnghinglova Hmar was selected as a joint candidate of the Congress and the Zoram People’s Movement on Wednesday.(Instagram)
         

In Mizoram, it is likely be a contest between two political newbies in the Lok Sabha polls. A journalist known for his role in shoring up the state’s football circuit is set to take on a retired government official on the lone Lok Sabha seat in the Christian majority state on April 11.

The 41-year-old Lalnghinglova Hmar was selected as a joint candidate of the Congress and the Zoram People’s Movement on Wednesday. The ruling Mizo National Front has announced 61-year-old C Lalrosanga, who retired as the Director General of Doordarshan, as its candidate. CL Ruala of the Congress is the sitting MP.

The state unit of BJP is miffed that the MNF didn’t consult them and said that they may even support the joint candidate. MNF is part of the National Democratic Alliance but fought the recent Assembly polls alone. “We are still undecided if we will field a candidate or support the joint candidate. We will not support the MNF since they did not consult us,” said JV Hluna, the president of the BJP’s state unit. But senior BJP leader and convener of North East Democratic Alliance Himanta Biswa Sarma hinted the party had no issues with the MNF going alone. “In Mizoram, our aim is to make sure the Congress is defeated,” he said. The BJP won just one seat in the recent Assembly polls.

Former chief minister and state Congress chief Lalthanhawla said the ZPM approached his party with a proposal to fight together.

In the recently held Assembly polls, Congress was trounced and MNF returned to power with Zoramthanga as the chief minister. ZPM, a grouping of some local parties, managed to win eight seats, three more than the Congress in the 40-member Assembly.

Also read| Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Here is all you need to know about Mizoram

“Hmar is a popular young man even though he is not in politics. In his capacity as honorary secretary of the Mizoram Football Association (MFA), he has done a lot for football in Mizoram,” said Lalthanhawla, who is also the founder president of the MFA.

Besides his role in the football association, Tetea, as Hmar is fondly called, is also associated with Vanglaini, the popular Mizo daily. He started off as a History teacher in a college in Aizawl, before he started writing sports columns. “Now I look after the management of Vanglaini beside my association with football,” Hmar said, adding that he will contest on a neutral symbol.

“I am just about to start my political career. I think a lot can be done in this small hilly state which has no presence in the national political arena,” he said.

Lalduhoma, the former IPS officer who heads ZPM and won from two constituencies in the recent polls said, “Citizenship (Amendment) Bill will be the biggest issue. The MNF being part of North East Democratic Alliance and NDA are as good as BJP which is pushing the Bill.

Lalthanhawla said that Zoramthanga is a BJP man and “he cannot hide it”.

Chief Minister Zoramthanga, however, rubbished the allegation of his association with the BJP. “We have nothing to do with the BJP. They are constantly attacking me here. Let them field a joint candidate. It won’t impress the people since we are also opposed to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill,” he said adding the MNF will withdraw from the NDA if it keeps pushing the Bill.

For complete coverage of Lok Sabha Elections 2019, click here.

First Published: Mar 15, 2019 11:26 IST