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Congress defies MZP’s diktat; nominates Meriam for Lunglei South seat

Meriem L Hrangchal

Aizawl: Mizoram Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) has finally garnered the courage to go ahead in fielding Meriam L. Hrangchal to contest from Lunglei South assembly seat in the coming Mizoram Assembly polls by defying the diktat of the powerful Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP).

MZP had issued a warning to all political parties in the state, urging them not to nominate Mizo women married to non-tribal for the forthcoming legislative assembly elections. Meriam L. Hrangchal, who is married to a Gorkha, faced strong opposition from student leaders due to this.

Initially, her name was conspicuously absent when AICC General Secretary K.C. Venugopal unveiled the list of Congress candidates on Monday, as Lunglei South assembly constituency was not mentioned at the time. 

However, later on Monday night, Venugopal officially announced Meriam as the party’s nominee for the seat. 

This move brings the total number of Congress female candidates to two, with the other being former Minister of State Vanlalawmpuii Chawngthu.

Meriam L Hrangchal is the daughter of the late former Deputy CM Lalhmingthanga, a prominent political figure. Her husband, despite being a Gorkha, bears a Mizo name – D. Zoliana, and is not only a Christian but also serves as a church elder at the Baptist Church of Mizoram.

Congress party sources have maintained that Meriam’s husband and his family have been residents of Mizoram for generations, predating 1950, and are not only Indian citizens but also recognised as legitimate residents of the state. 

Barring any objections during the scrutiny process, which may focus on her marriage to a non-tribal, she is set to contest the elections for the Lunglei South assembly seat, designated for Scheduled Tribe candidates.

The question remains whether the Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP) will persist in their opposition, and if their vocal stance against candidates married to non-Mizo individuals will impact Hrangchal’s electoral prospects.

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