Mizoram assembly election: BJP in centre, state will take Mizoram to new heights, says PM Modi
The saffron party has been contesting polls in Mizoram since 1993, but has failed to win any seat in the Christian-dominated state. This time it has fielded 39 candidates in the total 40 seats in the November 28 assembly elections and hopes to play a key role in formation of the next government.
Mizoram, the last state where Congress is in power in the northeast, should rid itself of the party in the coming assembly election to join the development mainstream, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday.
Addressing an election meeting at Lunglei in the state, he accused the ruling Congress of corruption and nepotism and assured fast-paced development if the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is voted to power in the November 28 assembly elections.
“To speed up Mizoram’s development and provide corruption-free government, BJP seeks your blessings and support. The double engine of BJP governments in Centre and state will take Mizoram to new heights,” he said.
The saffron party has been contesting polls in Mizoram since 1993, but has failed to win any seat in the Christian-dominated state. This time it has fielded 39 candidates in the total 40 seats in these assembly elections and hopes to play a key role in formation of the next government.
Modi blamed Congress of abusing traditions and culture of people of northeast, citing party leader Shashi Tharoor’s comment made in August on the PM wearing “all sorts of outlandish headgear”.
“I feel a deep sense of anguish when I see leaders of Congress abuse the traditions of northeast. You would recollect how some months ago, leaders of Congress had derided dresses given to me during my visits to the region as outlandish,” he said.
Mizoram is the only state in the region which is under Congress rule and also the one where BJP is not in power or is part of the ruling coalition. Like previous polls, it is a direct contest between Congress and Mizo National Front (MNF) in the state though some political combinations are also trying their luck.
Modi accused the Congress of spreading fear to protect its state governments which are mired in corruption and nepotism and urged voters to get rid of the party.
“People of Mizoram have a golden opportunity to rid themselves of this Congress culture…and get associated with the development mainstream,” he said.
Trying to blunt Congress’s attack on BJP, he assured that his party is committed to safeguard religious and social practices of Mizos and Mizo customary laws and procedure as enshrined in the Constitution.
Modi stressed how the Centre is focused on development of northeast by improving connectivity as part of its Act East policy. He said that in the past four years Rs 90,000 crores have been allotted to boost rail, road, air and internet connectivity network in the region.
He accused the Congress government in Mizoram for slow implementation of Centre-sponsored schemes, corruption in handing out contracts and misusing public money through the New Land Use Policy and New Economic Development Policy.
The Congress, however, dismissed his allegations.
“Contrary to what Modi says there’s no case of corruption against Congress ministers in Mizoram in the past 10 years. Mizos are not fools, they will not get swayed by BJP’s promises of development and not delivering when they get a chance,” said Congress spokesperson Lallianchhunga.
From Lunglei, Modi went to Aizawl where he held interactions with representatives of Mizoram’s influential NGOs who sought resettlement of Brus who left the state after ethic clashes in 1997 and return of Mizo IAS officer Lalnunmawia Chuaungo who was transferred this month after a complaint by then chief electoral officer SB Shashank.
“The PM also interacted with BJP candidates from Aizawl where they asked for a special package for Mizoram from Centre,” said Mizoram BJP chief JV Hluna.