The Assembly Elections in Mizoram will take place on November 25. Here are the major issues around which the political parties will woo the electorate:
New Land Use Policy (NLUP)
The incumbent Congress government is heavily banking on the NLUP to attract the electorate. The chief aim of the NLUP is to develop and give all farmers in the state suitable, permanent and stable trades. The Policy also aims at giving all the village farmers self sufficiency and providing them with financial help along with necessary guidance.
Illegal immigration from neighbouring countries such as Bangladesh, Nepal and especially Myanmar is another issue that will be highlighted by the opposition parties to hit four-time Chief Minister PU Lalthanhawla. According to the New York-based Human Rights Watch, there are as many as 70,000 to 100,000 ethnic Chins from Myanmar in Mizoram, who fled to India in the last two decades to escape massive human rights abuse in western Myanmar.
Reang refugees’ rehabilitation
The return of the 37,000 tribal refugees from Tripura is yet another issue that would have an impact on the result of the Assembly Elections.
The tribal Reang refugees, locally called ‘Bru’, had fled their homes in several villages in Mamit district in western Mizoram in October 1997 after ethnic clashes with the majority Mizos flared over the killing of a Mizo forest official.
In Mizoram, the estimated population of Reang tribals is 100,000. Besides, there are Chakmas and other tribals living in the mountainous border state, whose total population is about one million.
Though the literacy rate in Mizoram is very high, yet unemployment remains an acute problem. Kolasib, Mamit and Serchhip districts fall under the jurisdiction of Aizawl and Aizawl Employment Exchange houses the highest number of registered unemployment youth in Mizoram. Recently, Haukhuma Hauzel, member secretary of the state Planning Board and chairman of the Mizoram Skill Development Society (MSDS), referred to records of the employment exchanges while saying said that there were more than 50,000 unemployed youth in the state.
Development is one of the main issues in the state as more than 70 percent of the people of Mizoram are dependent on Agriculture. The incumbent government has worked hard for accelerating development in the state by implementing NLUP and policies to develop both land and water routes for trade.
The use of drugs amongst the youngsters has become a serious issue for the north-eastern state. The Mizoram government is mulling a new drug policy to combat increasing number of drug abuse deaths. All the political parties stand united in combating this grave problem.
Like any other Indian state, Mizoram is troubled by rampant corruption. The delay and suspension of several projects by the government has gained huge criticism from people.
Perhaps, Mizoram is facing cultural degradation due to immense influence of outside world, which has become a much talked about ‘ill’ for long. The state is also disturbed by the strife between different tribes and the dominant Mizos calling the shots, while a few smaller tribes feel insecure.
Taking note of the prevailing issues, it is imperative for political leaders to get their act together and fulfil the demands of people.