BJP-MNF Relations Souring Ahead Of Mizoram Assembly Election On November 7 - Eastern Mirror
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BJP-MNF relations souring ahead of Mizoram assembly election on November 7

By IANS Updated: Oct 30, 2023 11:23 pm

AIZAWL — With just a week left for the crucial elections to the 40-member Mizoram Assembly, the relations between the BJP and its ally Mizo National Front (MNF) are souring as both parties have been accusing each other on numerous counts.

BJP President JP Nadda strongly criticised the MNF-led government last week and said that if his party comes to power in the state it would set up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the “irregularities and corruption” in the implementation of the Socio-Economic Development Programme, the flagship scheme of the Chief Minister Zoramthanga-led state government.

A “white paper” would be released to highlight the “financial mismanagement” of the MNF government, he had said.

Several BJP leaders and Union Ministers, including Minister of State for Minority Affairs John Barla, during their election campaign, accused the MNF Government of neglecting central schemes aimed at uplifting the poor in the state, suggesting that their focus lay only in personal financial gains.

Countering the BJP leaders and central ministers, the MNF on Monday termed the BJP as a ‘Hindutva party’.

A senior leader of the MNF, while rejecting the BJP leaders’ and central ministers’ allegations said that the MNF Government’s main focus is the all-round welfare of the Mizo people and protecting their traditions, life and culture.

Asserting that the Zoramthanga-led government had not compromised the interests of the Mizo people by aligning with the BJP, the MNF leader strongly criticised the BJP-led governments both at the Centre and in Manipur for their “failure to protect the tribals” in the nearly six-month-long ethnic strife in Manipur.

“Around 13,000 displaced tribals belonging to the Zo community (similar to Mizo-Chin community) due to the violence in Manipur took shelter in Mizoram and both the Centre and the state government did nothing for them,” the MNF leader told the media, requesting anonymity.

The MNF leader clarified that the party’s support to the NDA was strictly issue-based, with the party’s MPs frequently opposing numerous BJP government agendas including the Uniform Civil Code within and outside the Parliament.

Over the Manipur government and the Centre’s “failure to handle” the ethnic violence in the neighbouring state, the MNF also supported the no-confidence motion moved in the Parliament by the INDIA bloc in August.

The MNF also indicated that there is a secret understanding between the BJP and the Opposition Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) for a post-election alliance, citing that the saffron party had refrained from criticising the ZPM.

BJP’s Mizoram in-charge and Union Minister Kiren Rijiju said that the MNF is still a partner of the NDA. “Because of local sentiments, the Chief Minister (Zoramthanga) and MNF may criticise BJP to gain more votes,” Rijiju told the media in Aizawl. However, Rijiju indirectly indicated that ZPM can also play a vital role in Mizoram in future.

“The ZPM is against the Congress and MNF and they have no relations with BJP. However, if they secure a reasonable number of seats, they will need the BJP’s support. There is no permanent foe or friend in politics,” the BJP leader from Arunachal Pradesh said.

Reacting on the MNF-BJP relations ahead of the November 7 Assembly polls in Mizoram, political observers said that before the February Assembly polls in neighbouring Meghalaya, the BJP criticised its ally National People’s Party (NPP) and promised to probe “corruption” of the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) Government after the elections. But after the February 27 Assembly polls, the BJP with two MLAs maintained its alliance with the MDA Government headed by Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma, who is also the National President of the NPP.

Also read: Former Naga People’s Front official raises concern over lack of internal democracy

By IANS Updated: Oct 30, 2023 11:23:08 pm
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