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MNF, BJP lock horns and Mizoram elections draw near

Zoramthanga and Naredna Modi (File photo)

Aizawl: As election for the 40-member Mizoram Legislative Assembly draws nearer, political tensions have escalated between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the ruling Mizo National Front (MNF), its ally in the NDA at the Center and NEDA in the Northeastern region. 

In a counter-attack, the MNF, has labeled the saffron party as a Hindutva party.

Unveiling the party’s Vision Document for the Mizoram on Friday evening, BJP national president Jagat Prakash Nadda announced the formation of a special investigation team (SIT) to probe alleged misappropriation of funds in the implementation of the state government’s flagship program, the Socio-Economic Development Programme (SEDP). 

Nadda also pledged that, should the BJP come to power in the state following the elections, a ‘white paper’ will be released to shed light on the ‘financial mismanagement’ of the current government.

Union Ministers, including Minister of State for Minority Affairs John Barla, who have visited the state, accused the MNF government of neglecting central schemes aimed at uplifting the poor in the state, suggesting that their focus lay only in financial gains.

Responding to these attacks, the MNF vehemently portrayed the saffron party as its primary adversary, alleging that the BJP’s criticism was rooted in the MNF’s resistance to the BJP’s agenda of imposing a Hindu faith in the country. The MNF, they said, is dedicated to preserving the culture, traditions, and religious identity of the people of Mizoram.

The ruling party also addressed allegations that the MNF and the BJP were operating as a single entity, asserting that Chief Minister Zoramthanga’s party had not compromised the interests of the Mizo people by aligning with the BJP. In contrast, they contended that the national BJP leadership’s behavior debunked the claims made by other political parties.

Moreover, the MNF clarified that its support for the NDA is strictly issue-based, with the party’s MPs frequently opposing numerous BJP agendas within and outside the Parliament. 

The party also raised concerns about a purported secret understanding between the saffron party and the Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) for a post-election alliance, highlighting that the BJP had refrained from criticising the ZPM, an assertion made by an MNF leader.

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