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Congress unites with smaller parties to form secular alliance

Mizoram Congress chief Lalsawta delivers a speech after forging alliance with two other parties

Aizawl: Mizoram Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) has extended its arms to embrace two smaller parties, namely the People’s Conference and Zoram Nationalist Party, in a move to establish a formidable electoral alliance.

On Friday (August 18), an agreement was inked by the said political entities, formalising the creation of the Mizoram Secular Alliance. The primary objective of this alliance is to collectively champion the cause of secularism and to stand united against what they perceive as the ‘anti-secular’ stance of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The agreement was signed by Mizoram Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) President Lalsawta, People’s Conference (PC) party President Vanlalruata, and Zoram Nationalist Party (ZNP) President H Lalrinmawia.

“We, the Mizoram Pradesh Congress Committee, the People’s Conference party and the Zoram Nationalist Party affirmed on Friday, August 18, 2023 that we formed the secular alliance to safeguard secularism and to ensure that our land and the people are safeguarded,” the signed document said.

During a public gathering held at Vanapa Hall in Aizawl, the alliance partners adopted a resolute stance, urging the citizens of Mizoram to rally against the saffron party and its affiliates, with the aim of ensuring the safety and well-being of religious and minority communities.

The resolution extended an invitation to all other political parties, except those with financial ties to the BJP, to join the Mizoram Secular Alliance. The goal is to collectively work toward the preservation of the Mizo community and its distinctive religious identity.

The alliance expressed concerns over what they view as a systematic effort by the BJP and its associates to marginalize minority communities, particularly the tribal groups. They highlighted a series of legislative actions that they believe threaten the secular fabric of the nation and endorsed their alliance as a proactive force determined to counteract these trends.

“India has become one of the top countries where Christians are not safe,” the resolution said.

Notable speakers at the public meeting included John Siamkunga, the alliance’s convener and former legislator, along with Lalsawta, Vanlalruata, and H. Lalrinmawia.

People’s Conference, founded Brig T Sailo in 1975, formed the government from 1979 till 1984. It was later rechristened as Mizoram People’s Conference. It formed an electoral partnership with the Mizo National Front in 1998, leading to the defeat of the Congress government. Subsequently, the party pursued independent campaigns in 2003, 2008, and 2013, with its seat count gradually decreasing. Prior to the 2018 elections, the party aligned itself with the Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM), along with other small parties. securing eight seats. Eventually, it merged with the People’s Representation for Identity and Status of Mizoram adopted its original name PC.

The Zoram Nationalist Party, established by Lalduhoma, who is currently the chief ministerial candidate of the Zoram People’s Movement, emerged in 1997 as a result of a factional split from the Mizo National Front. Over the years, the party won two seats in both the 2003 and 2008 state elections. Although it was part of ZPM, a handful of leaders chose to exit and reform the party.”

 

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