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Zoramthanga confident of retaining power

Aizawl: Chief Minister of Mizoram chief minister and president of the ruling Mizo National Front (MNF), Zoramthanga, expressed his confidence on Tuesday that his party will retain power in the election to the 40-member state legislature scheduled for November 7.

Speaking with the press in Aizawl, Zoramthanga expressed his hopes that the MNF would secure at least 21 seats, with a potential to achieve 25 or more. 

He highlighted that over 11,000 internally displaced people from neighboring Manipur, along with more than 33,000 refugees from Myanmar and Bangladesh, are in favor of the MNF retaining power in the state in the upcoming elections.

Zoramthanga claimed that refugees and IDPs fear that parties having nexus with the central government might form the next government, causing uncertainty for their future.

Regarding the Ministry of Home Affairs’ directive to collect biographic and biometric data from Myanmar refugees, the Chief Minister stated that such collection is unnecessary and could intimidate the refugees. He added that with the upcoming elections, the state government lacks the time for such data collection.

Zoramthanga expressed confidence that the central government would not abolish the safeguards enshrined in Article 371 of the Indian Constitution for Mizoram and other states. He argued that Article 371’s provisions are not exclusive to Mizoram and scrapping it would result in adverse consequences and serve no purpose for the Centre.

He also dared the BJP to initiate investigations into the implementation of the Socio-Economic Development Programme (SEDP), the flagship programme of the MNF government. Zoramthanga asserted that the government has securely deposited SEDP funds into beneficiaries’ bank accounts, minimizing the chances of misappropriation.

Zoramthanga further clarified that while the MNF is a part of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), their support for the BJP-led alliance is issue-based, and the MNF opposes the NDA when its actions run counter to the interests of Mizoram and its people. 

“I am one of the founders of the NDA during the time of AB Vajpayee and LK Advani, long before some of the present BJP top leaders were in the party,” he added.

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