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Denied party ticket, Assembly Speaker resigns

Aizawl: In a significant political development, Mizoram Assembly Speaker Lalrinliana Sailo resigned from his position as Speaker and legislator on Wednesday, following the denial of a party ticket by the ruling Mizo National Front (MNF). Lalrinliana, who had joined the MNF before the last elections, expressed his intention to join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Accompanied by leaders of the state BJP unit, Lalrinliana submitted his resignation letter, addressed to Deputy Speaker H. Biakzauva, to Assembly Secretary Lalhmahruaia Zote in the absence of Biakzauva. This move makes hime the eighth legislator to resign ahead of the upcoming state legislative assembly elections scheduled for November 7.

Lalrinliana, expressing his reasons for joining the BJP, highlighted his commitment to addressing the acute financial crisis faced by the Mizoram government. Additionally, he emphasised the need for the central government to take over the lone Zoram Medical College (ZMC) and stated that the central BJP leaders have made promises in this regard.

“I appealed to the central BJP leaders to ensure the takeover of the ZMC by the central government as a condition of joining the BJP, and they made the promise,” Sailo stated, emphasizing his desire to contribute to the state’s development by aligning with the saffron party.

While discussions surround the constituency from which Sailo will contest in the upcoming assembly polls, he clarified that the final decision rests with the party leaders. The denial of the party ticket by MNF came after Sailo publicly advocated for the merger of MNF with the BJP, a move not supported by MNF, which refrains from forming an electoral alliance with the saffron party in state politics.

Earlier, seven legislators have resigned during the run-up of assembly elections.

Congress legislator K T Rokhaw, elected from Palak seat in 2018 assembly polls resigned as legislator on October 3 and joined the MNF a day later to contest from the same constituency on MNF ticket.

Former Minister of State Dr K Beichhua, who resigned as a minister on December 12, 2022 and expelled from the party due to ‘anti-party activities’ also resigned as MLA on October 6 and joined the BJP on the same day. He is all set to contest from Siaha assembly seat, his home turf as candidate of the saffron party.

On Wednesday, with the exception of their leader Lalduhoma, five legislators elected in 2018 elections as independents, resigned en masse on Tuesday to contest the coming polls as candidates of the Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM).

The five MLAs contested 2018 state assembly elections as a group of independents as Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) was not yet registered with the Election Commission of India. Though they were accepted in the state assembly as members of the Zo People’s Movement legislature party, contesting the coming polls as ZPM, a registered party now, can invite disqualification. 

The independent legislators who resigned on Tuesday are V.L. Zaithanzama, Aizawl West – III, Dr. Vanlalthlana, Aizawl North – II, Lalchhuanthanga, Aizawl South – II, C. Lalsawivunga, Aizawl South – I and Vanlalhlana, Aizawl North – I.

ZPM leader and Chief Ministerial candidate of the party in 2018 Lalduhoma, however was re-elected from his Serchhip constituency in 2021 by contesting as ZPM official candidate, after the ZPM was registered as a political party in 2019, does not need to resign. 

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