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Lalduhoma accuses rival parties of flexing money muscle

 Lalduhoma, flanked by ZPM leaders, addresses a press conference on Wednesday (July 19)

Aizawl: Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) leader Lalduhoma on Wednesday levelled accusations against the ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) and the opposition Congress party, claiming that they are “flexing money muscle” as political parties are rolling up their sleeves for Mizoram state assembly elections due for this year end.

During a press conference held in Aizawl today, Lalduhoma alleged that the Congress party offered a staggering sum of Rs 100 lakh to one of ZPM’s candidates. He expressed his surprise at the Congress party’s financial prowess despite being in the opposition for the past five years.

Lalduhoma also stated that the MNF had received significant financial assistance from Delhi during the 2018 elections, and he believes they are likely to receive similar support this time as well. 

“Mizoram Lok Sabha MP, C Lalrosanga, attended an NDA meeting in New Delhi,” he said hinting at a positive outcome in terms of monetary assistance for the MNF.

Nonetheless, Lalduhoma believes that the influence of money in elections has been diminishing recently, citing his own victory in the Serchhip by-election and the ZPM’s success in the local council elections in Zemabawk.

On Tuesday (July 18), the Zoram People’s Movement officially announced its candidates for all 40 seats in the state assembly, the first party in Mizoram to do so.

Lalduhoma expressed confidence in the calibre of his party’s candidates, asserting that they are among the best and ready to make an impact.

However, due to the limited number of seats in the state assembly, not all potential candidates within the party could be accommodated, he said. 

“Even if we had an additional 40 seats in the Assembly, we would still have another 40 people as outstanding as our current candidates to fill those seats,” he said.

“Selection process is the responsibility of the Nomination Committee and that being an elected office bearer does not guarantee a ticket,” Lalduhoma said, in apparent allusion to  

ZPM treasurer C Laltanpuia, who expressed discontentment after failing to secure a ticket. In the previous assembly elections, Laltanpuia had contested on a ZPM ticket from the East Tuipui constituency but lost to the Mizo National Front candidate, Ramthanmawia.

Even amidst Lalduhoma’s allegations against his rival parties for employing money power, he finds himself facing similar accusations.

During a public rally at Ramrikawn on July 15, the journalist-turned-politician, Vanneihthanga, respectfully requested that Lalduhoma clarify his recent trip to Guwahati.

In an implicit statement, Vanneihthanga insinuated that Lalduhoma had met with key BJP leaders in Guwahati, allegedly seeking financial assistance for his party. According to Vanneihthanga, Lalduhoma traveled to Guwahati on June 27, claiming it was for a medical check-up, but returned to Aizawl the following day.

While not providing full details, Vanneihthanga questioned Lalduhoma’s interactions with BJP leaders during the trip, calling for an explanation from him.

Lalduhoma dismissed the allegations as false.

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